My latest never-baked-it challenge was a Madeira cake. I was a bit half hearted about it as I’m sure the last time I had it was about 1994 and an elderly rellie fed me a slice, it was quite dry and dusty and by the end there was more on the plate than in my mouth…

I am trying to cover all the basic vintage cake recipes and improve my baking technique in the process so I decided to give it a go none the less. I used this recipe from the BBC Good Food website. I love this website because of the review options – if the recipe has lots of votes it’s probably a winner!

It was an easy make. Or at least it would be if I actually had a decent electric whisk. One that wasn’t in storage. The one I have is an attachment for a hand held blender thing and it’s pants. It just flings sugar everywhere. My kitchen tiles are now nicely pebbledashed in butter and sugar. I’m just too stubborn to buy one because I already own one!


It had the zest of a whole lemon in it and 50g of ground almonds, both of which gave it a lovely flavour. The lemon added lots of moisture and flavour and the almonds gave it a nice dense crumb. It has a gorgeous golden brown crust too, which is strangely satisfying!

It rose beautifully in the oven, and became a towering monster of a loaf. I was very proud of it.


I was made even more proud by the fact that the Dr, who is not really a big cake eater, ate 3 big doorstops of it in one sitting. He kept carving off another chunk and giving me a guilty glance. I think my title of Domestic Goddess can no longer be disputed. My mum and sister popped over one evening this week and I made them a Lancashire hotpot followed by slices of a second Madeira cake. And it went down very well. The Dr and I really enjoyed this dense, moist lemony monster and I think it’ll become a regular.


In other news life handed me lots of lemons last week and I have been a bit quiet and lacked the energy to blog.


Things have picked up a bit, I’m feeling loads better health wise and the house sale may even be back on the cards, although I’m not going to get too excited! Please keep everything crossed for me, and my advice, for what it’s worth, is don’t buy a house off an unpredictable muppet!

It is with a sage look I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

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