Madeira cake to impress your mother-in-law

In baking, cake on October 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm

No, I don’t have a mother-in-law. But Nigella Lawson does, and this is her mother-in-law’s recipe.

I made this on a whim. Have not been cooking/baking seriously (as in trying out a new recipe) for months. Then last weekend I came across this recipe as I was browsing my Facebook. I had all the ingredients and the recipe seemed easy, so what the heck. It’s time to get back on board. Bree Van de Kamp may bake when she’s feeling down, I’m baking to get my mojo back!

Whenever Bree Van de Kamp was feeling low she found solace in the act of baking. When her first husband passed away, she made coffee cake. When her second husband went to jail, she made sugar cookies. And when her teenage daughter got pregnant, she madecrème brûlée. So when Bree’s best friends stopped speaking to her, she hoped that her warm cherry scones might thaw their chilly relationship.

Intro from ‘Putting it Together’, Desperate Housewives Season 8, Episode 9

Madeira cake is said to be similar to pound cake, which I had attempted before. Comparison between the two:

  • Both use lemon juice. Madeira cake includes the zest.
  • Pound cake calls for buttermilk or yogurt.
  • Pound cake uses more sugar. A lot more.
  • There’s more butter in the Madeira cake. Fine by me. I love butter more than sugar.

Verdict: Pound cake is more dense and sweet. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, go for the Madeira. Both are simple cakes. No fuss, both in taste and preparation. Goes well with a cup of hot tea. Perfect for lazy Sundays.

Shopping list: lemon, eggs

From the pantry: butter, caster sugar, plain flour, self-raising flour (if you don’t have this, substitute with plain flour, baking powder and salt – follow the guide here)

Hardware: cake pan or loaf pan, oven

Can I do it?: Absolutely. If you can measure and keep an eye on the oven, you’re all set.

Credit: How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Full recipe here.

  1. Hi Jo, I finally found the time to read your Madeira recipe. Thanks! Sounds easy but can I cut down on the butter without sacrificing the moistness? I found the butter flavour rather overpowering.

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