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How to make a Madeira Loaf Cake
Recipe for Six Madeira Loaf Cakes
This is a recipe for Madeira cake, which is a rich, plain cake. The yield should be about six loaf cakes of 500 grammes each but you can also use a larger tin, say 6 or 7 inches, and adjust the weight accordingly.
The cake can be made by hand in a large bowl but it is easier with a conventional mixer, with beater and whisk attachments. You will also need a couple of tankards and bowls for the ingredients after you have weighed them, as they must of course be kept separate before mixing. There are three main parts of the process of making Madeira cake: weighing and preparing the ingredients, mixing the batter, and baking the cake.
The first thing you should do is set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Centigrade). For Madeira cake, we can use a few different methods but I will use the 'flour batter' method this time, as it is not as widely used as the 'sugar batter' method, but it still produces fine results.
1. The Recipe
Weigh off the following ingredients, keeping them separate as follows:
Place the margarine and cake flour together in a bowl
Mix the eggs with the glycerine, vanilla essence, and yellow colouring in a tankard, and place within a larger container of warm water to prevent curdling.
Keep the self-raising flour separate, on its own
Margarine, 360 grammes (gs.)
Cake (Soft) Flour, 360 gs.
Eggs, 450 gs.
Castor Sugar 450 gs.
Glycerine, 30 gs.
A couple of drops of vanilla essence and yellow colouring
Self-Raising Flour, 140 gs.
Beat the margarine and cake flour together until the paste is light. Scrape down the bowl. Separately, mix the warmed eggs, sugar, glycerine, vanilla essence, and yellow colouring with a whisk, until the whisk marks begin to show in the mix. Then add the liquids to the margarine and flour, slowly and gradually, taking care not to overmix as this will knock the air out of the batter. If mixing on a machine, ensure that the speed is fairly slow. Once the mixture is smooth, scrape down the bowl, ensuring that unmixed residue from the sides of the bowl are incorporated back into the mix. Then add the self-raising flour on slow speed or by hand, and mix until the batter appears to be smooth. It does no harm to mix for a couple of minutes on slow to medium speed.
Scale at the desired weight, but at 500 grammes for a small loaf cake, and more or less depending on the size of tin you are using. I think it best to use paper cases for cakes, but they can be baked just in the tin, so long as the tin is greased, in order to stop the cake sticking to the sides.
Bake at 350 Fahrenheit (180 Centigrade). If using a fan-assisted oven reduce the temperature to 330 and keep a close eye on the baking. If the cakes appear to be getting too dark too early, they can be covered by foil to prevent them from burning. Bake for 30-40 minutes for loaf cakes, and test whether they are ready by inserting a skewer or a cocktail stick into the cake. If it is still wet, then the cake is not ready, but if it is dry the cake is baked. When baked, cool on a wire rack.
A Madeira cake should have a distinctive yellow crumb thrusting through a golden brown top. When it is made correctly, it is a very appealing cake, and the rich content of the recipe ensures a delightful taste.