Yes, the The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens. Have we all been watching closely? Yup, me too. T’was a little bit surprised to see a Madeira Cake for the first week’s technical challenge. Why? Because I can’t recall one of those ever being something that I’ve made frequently. I’ve done them for weddings, New Year, heck even just because I want a wee bit of sponge (don’t we all need a wee bit of sponge occasionally?). What’s hard about them? What could go wrong? Well, as I found out during the judging, a fair bit. I wonder how my offering would fair against the steely gaze and professional palates of the judges?
- 175g butter or margarine
- 175g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 150g self raising flour
- 100g plain flour
- grated zest and 1 tbsp of either and orange or a lemon – optional
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and then break in the eggs, incorporating well after each one and before adding the next. Sift in the 2 flours and beat until it’s all amalgamated together.
Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and place in a pre-heated oven at 150˚C for 1hr – 1hr 15mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool. And look – it even has the coveted ‘crack’ along the top.
Interesting fact – NOT called a Madeira cake after the islands, but after the drink that you’re supposed to eat the cake with.
I’ve also been Tweeting. I read somewhere that the average ‘life’ of a Tweet is supposed to be 20 minutes, that being the time it takes to disappear off into the far reaches of the Internet ether. I have been exhorted to Tweet more often to try and keep this blog up in peoples’ pages. To be honest, I can’t be arsed. I joined in Jan 2010 and have managed (drum roll please)…………………….237 tweets so far. But I did feel I should Tweet that I had managed to make myself a rather nifty 3 course meal using recipes from the Hairy Dieters books that came to a paltry 387 calories. No, that’s for the WHOLE MEAL, not per course!!!!! I even got a Tweet back from the HB’s page (I doubt it was from them personally), so I was pretty happy with that. If you’re interested, the menu was as follows:
Baked eggs from Book 3 at 155 calories, Quinoa Salad also from Book 3 at 212 calories, and the Sparkling Lemonade/Lime Jelly from Book 1……….20 calories.
Bloody gorgeous it was as well.