I used the recipe from Lindy Smith's "The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible" (book available to buy here). I really like this book, and it certainly is a bible to me. It has a great section on lining cake tins and lots of good basic recipes in it. Lindy also has a great website with lots of additional hints and tips - I particularly like this page on how to bake a perfect Madeira cake - all of the tips I used when baking this cake.
The recipe for a 10" square madeira cake is as follows:
700g unsalted butter, at room temperature
700g caster sugar
700g self-raising flour
350g plain flour
12 large eggs
3 tsp glycerine (optional)
- pre-heat oven to 140 degrees C for fan assisted, 160 degrees C otherwise. Grease and line cake tins
- to prevent the sides from crusting and the top doming, fold up about three sheets of newspaper to the height of the tin and tape around the edge of the pan. There are products available specifically for this purpose (BakeEven strips I believe they are called), but good old newspaper does the job for me.
- cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Until I made this cake I don't think I really understood what creaming was. I always thought I had got to the right point until the other day when I actually did! When you think you have got to the right consistency of a light and fluffy mixture, just keep mixing, for several more minutes. You will get there eventually, and when you do, it will all make sense!
- combine the flours in a separate bowl - sifting if you feel the urge but not essential
- beat the eggs (at room temperature - don't store your eggs in the fridge) and add one at time along with a spoonful of flour to prevent the mixture from curdling. Fold in the rest of the flour into the mixture with a metal spoon.
- at this stage you can add glycerine, 1/4 tsp per egg. Glycerine is available in all good supermarkets. This isn't essential but can help the cake to stay moist.
- pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scoop out the mixture in the middle of the tin and pile it up at the sides. This will help to get a flat top on your cake to minimise trimming required. Don't be nervous and just make a small dip with a spoon, I want to be able to see the bottom of the tin! Trust me - it will be fine.
- place in the oven on a baking sheet and place another baking sheet on the next shelf above. Put a small bowl of water in the oven too - this will once again keep the cake moist.
- bake for about two hours. this will very much depend on your oven and the amount of newspaper you have used so just keep checking around the two hour mark. it's done when a skewer comes out clean.
- leave to cool in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack. Keep the lining paper on until you decorate/ fill it to keep all the moisture in!