Yay for my very first challenge! The bakers in this episode are challenged with baking a signature cake that is inspired by a recipe from a family member or friend. While I should have and could have done this I was dying to make a recipe from my new cookbook The Great British Bake Off Celebrations.
You can find the book here.
I decided on a cake that I had heard of several times on the Great British Bake Off, a Madeira Cake. In this cookbook, they listed a recipe for a Lemon Madeira Cake with Candied Peels. The cake recipe looked simple enough and it didn’t call for too many ingredients. So I set out to bake and searched out for the 7 inch round cake pan it called for. Now I have many baking pans and a perfect deep, round, seven-inch pan to fit this recipe. The only problem was that I couldn’t find it. So I looked here, there, and then everywhere. By the end of it, I was like…
Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe was the search for the pan. With that said, I finally decided to use a deep 10-inch pan. However, I had to alter the recipe to fit the new pan. As you get to know to me, you’ll know I like my cakes tall and robust. My philosophy, the taller the cake, the closer to God.
I decided to double the recipe, because well, I live on the edge, kind of like this…
But a little more like this…
Taking a note from the Great British Bake Off, I’ll fill you with some knowledge about Madeira cakes:
- It does not include Madeira wine in the recipe, despite its name. It’s also not from the Madeira Islands.
- It became popular in the 1800s when people would have a glass of Madeira wine during tea time in England.
- Madeira cake is not to be confused with Maderians very own traditional Madeira cake (a dark, spicy, honey cake).
Don’t you feel smarter now!
To begin the recipe one must first make the candied peel, which actually takes a really long time (though it’s super easy!). You have to simmer the peel in a simple syrup for thirty to forty-five minutes and then bake them on a low heat for an hour with a douse of castor sugar on top. I actually really enjoyed this part though, because I found the lemon peels really fun to photograph and they let off a pretty smell. Check them out below.
After their simple syrup bath:
After baking the lemon peels:
Aren’t they gorgeous?
I also did the Mary Berry test where she drops them from a distance onto a plate to listen if they made a clinking noise when they fell. They did! With my lemon peels properly candied, I moved onto making the Lemon Madeira Cake. To do this I used the all in one method – basically, I added everything together and stirred.
I baked the cake for about forty-five minutes stopping at around twenty minutes to check the doneness. I then let the cake cool and after about twenty minutes, I decided to dress her up. The recipe calls for only three candied lemon slices laid on top of the cake but I couldn’t resist piling them on. I want people to eat them up! It also states to put the slices on after you first check the cake about twenty minutes into the baking, but I didn’t do that either. Why? Refer to my point earlier… I’m a rebel.
Regardless, I like how my cake turned out. It is tasty and I think it is attractive in a simplistic kind of way. Check her out below.
Work those florals you sexy Madeira cake you.
Check her out on the marble. She’s about that lux life.
Her Ms. Lemon Madeira is looking quite artsy. She’s deep you know… deep dish.
And here she is again giving you that close up.
And here she is looking moody again.
To make this Lemon Madeira Cake check out the recipe below.
Lemon Madeira Cake with Candied Lemon Peels
This tea time classic will please any lemon lover.
For the Candied Peel
- 1 large unwaxed lemon
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 100 grams caster sugar
For the Cake Mixture
- 175 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 175 grams caster sugar
- 225 grams self-rising flour
- 50 grams ground almonds
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 unwaxed large lemon finely grated zest
1. Begin by making the candied peel. Slice the lemon into eight wedges and clean out the innards leaving only the white pith and yellow peel. Then cut each wedge into four strips. Then pour 300 ml of water into a small pan and add the sugar. Warm the water and sugar mixture over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon segments and then simmer them for 30-45 minutes. They should be translucent when done. Drain the lemon pieces when done and cool. Heat the oven to the lowest setting and prepare a baking sheet with a lining of parchment paper. Arrange the lemon slices on the baking sheet and cover with caster sugar. Cook the lemon slices for about one hour and then remove. Leave the lemon slices to cool. The finished lemon slices should make a clinking sound when dropped onto a plate.
2. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit. Then put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat with a mixer for about one minute. The mix should be smooth and thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to a seven-inch prepared pan.
3. Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Remove the cake and decorate the top of the cake with three slices of the candied peel (or if you're like me, decorate with lots of candied peels). Bake the cake for another 20-25 minutes.
4. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack. Store the cake in an airtight container.
If you are from America, like me you might not be used to the metric system of measurement. An easy fix for converting ingredient measurements is to buy a scale that includes several types of measurements. I bought this scale on amazon.com for 8.99 and LOVE it!
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