So I am going to attempt to do a bake along with the Great British Bake Off. I know some people do this bake along with the technical challenge but I’m planning on just picking one thing each week that suits me.
If you fancy doing the same, don’t forget to link up with Amanda @ Rhyme and Ribbons who is doing a GBBO link up.
The first week aired last week and the theme was cake. A nice easy one to easy them into I think. Out of the three bakes, the Madeira cake was the only one that appealed to me. The El it cake sounded nice but I’ve done a few large cakes recently and I’m not a huge fan of Black Forest gateaux. I know I’m probably alone in this but I really like my chocolate just that, chocolate. I’m not a fan of flavours alongside chocolate. Yes, these means I hate chocolate flavoured with orange and mint!
Anyway as soon as they announced the first challenge was Madeira cake I knew that’s what I would be baking. They are one of my favourite cakes, a cake you can make when you don’t fancy anything too sweet.
I have such fond memories of making and eating them as a child. Side note, if you veep like having a proper cheat day, Marks and Spencer’s own brand is also delicious!
I loved the idea of the different flavour combinations everyone was coming up with. Traditionally Madeira cake is flavoured with orange and lemon. However, a couple of months ago I enjoyed a delicious olive oil loaf cake flavoured with orange and rosemary and topped with fresh slices of orange and toasted pine nuts. So I thought I would incorporate these flavours into my Madeira cake.
For those who are more traditional, I have included the original recipe in the notes section below the recipe.
- 50 grams pine nuts (or see note)
- 175 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 175 grams caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finally chopped
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 grams self raising flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 60 grams full fat cream cheese
- 20 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams icing sugar
- 1/2 orange
- Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan oven) and grease and line a loaf tin.
- First toast your pine nuts in a dry frying pan. Keep the heat low and move the pan constantly to avoid the pine nuts burning. Once lightly coloured, remove from the pan so they stop cooking and leave to cool. Once cooled, set aside a small handful and grind the remaining pine nuts in a coffee grinder (it's best not to use one you actually use for coffee).
- In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar and whisk u tail light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk each one fully. Scrape down the sides occasionally. Add the rosemary, orange and vanilla extract and whisk before stirring in the ground pine nuts.
- Add in the flour and using a spatula, fold the mixture until just combined. It should be a fairly thick mixture, add in the milk and stir together.
- Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, whisk the butter and icing sugar together, adding a little cream cheese if it gets too thick. Once all the icing sugar is incorporated, add the cream cheese and whisk until thick. Spread on the top of the cooled cake with some orange slices, rosemary springs and the remaining pine nuts.
- If you don't have (or don't want to pay the extortionate prices for - and I don't blame you) pine nuts then substitute them same wait for ground almonds. You could then decorate the top with some toasted sliced almonds.
- To make a regular Madeira cake, substitute the rosemary for the zest of one lemon and the pine nuts for ground almonds. More traditionally, Madeira cake would be left plain or a simple drizzle icing made by mixing lemon or orange juice with icing sugar.