Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Madeira Cake - Bolo Ingles Recipe

Being Portuguese can be a bit of a stress if you live out of Portugal, our cuisine and Patisserie is so rich that if you don't have where to satisfy your cravings, you become home sick. Having 4 "Children", can make it even more stressful as you want to bring them up with all their portuguese roots in place. Being the Matriarch?!!! Ouch...what a pain/ pleasure relationship!!
So, when we get to birthdays, we have the ones who prefer the wonderful, delicious birthday cakes, (that includes sis, brother in law, son in law, nephew etc. etc. etc. LOL), from Lisboa Patisserie (Portobello, Golborne Road, London W9) and the ones who prefer Mum's funky birthday cakes.

I baked this one for my eldest boy's birthday 2 weeks ago, just to hear from "the horse's mouth", "This was your best ever, Mum!!!!"  (pain/pleasure relationship).  Since then he baked it for me last week, and hopefuly I will be baking it for my sister this Sunday.
Here you have it, you can impress too.......

Madeira Cake - Home Baked Birthday Cake
(Portuguese recipe - Bolo Ingles from Farinha Branca de Neve)
Serves 10-regular portions (regular eaters)
Serves 5 -large portions (Big eaters)
Double it if you want to serve  20 regular/10 big eaters

  • 250g of Sugar
  • 250g of Self Raising flour, (the better the quality, the better the cake)
  • 250g of Butter/ Margarine (it tastes way better using better)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • Lemon zest/orange zest/almond extract or any other preferred flavour - to taste
  • Margarine to grease tin
  • Flour to dust greased tin
  • Baking Tin, this can be any format or material, silicone is lovely, but please still grease it and dust it, as I can't vouch for the results without doing that.
  • Warm up the oven on full blast, now rub some margarine all over the interior of the tin or mould, paying particular attention to curves and corners, all has to be generously covered, then pour some flour into it and shake it , shake it until the inside is all covered by the flour, pour any excess out by shaking or tapping the tin upside down (if using silicone, please still do this).
  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites, keep the whites in a clean bowl big enough to beat them in to a firm foam. Do not beat them yet.
  • Mix the sugar with the egg yolks, beat it until it turns to a smooth whitish cream.
  • Add the vanilla, the citrus zest, or a flavour of your choice to the creamy mixture, beat it a bit more.
Beating in the initial stage
  • Melt the butter or margarine to a soft liquidly point.  Beat it into the mixture, now you should give it a good beat all around, the more you beat it the better it will come out.
  • Add the baking powder to the flour
  • Add the flour progressively to the mixture while you are beating it. Don't give up beating, only stop when the machine needs a rest or the mixture makes loads of bubbles.
    Beating while adding the flour progressively
  • Now wash the whiskers very well and dry them.  Go back to the egg whites that were left in a clean big bowl.  Beat them to a firm foam. You will know they are ready when you can turn the bowl upside down and they don't fall.  Try by tilting the bowl a little at first (they shouldn't move), otherwise you may end up with it all on the floor! lol
Beating egg whites until they are firm
  • With a wooden spoon this time, mix them into the cake mixture, folding them in rather than beating, or stirring, once well folded its ready. (Folding the egg whites in keeps the "bubbles" intact and this is what makes the cake soft and airy)
  • Pour the cake mixture all into the tin,  you must have about 2 fingers height of room left on the tin to allow dough to raise, it will raise out of the tin anyway, but if not deep enough it will raise uncooked and flow down on to the oven.
    Cake mixture before going into the oven
  • BRING THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO THE MIDDLE POSITION, place the baking tin in the middle shelf of the oven. 
  • Check in half an hour, 45 minutes if you doubled the recipe. (to check you can stick a wooden skewer or pick in the centre of it about 2" deep, to be ready the pick needs to come back moist, but not full of liquid/soft dough. If the pick brings dough, it needs a further 5 or 10 minutes checking regularly, if its completely clean and dry you have just past the perfect point, if moist, then its perfect.
  • DO NOT LEAVE IT IN THE OVEN EVEN IF OVEN IS OFF.  Take it out of the oven, let it cool down until safe to handle with pegs. (due to all the turning involved).  Gently shake tin to loose it up. Turn tin upside down onto a plate and cake should pop out of the tin. Turn the cake the right way up.
Serving Suggestions:

  • Served warm, plain or with custard
  • Can be sliced in half and filled with jam of your choosing
  • Covered with any topping of your choice, eg. butter icing, meringue, etc. (To cover it let the cake cool first otherwise topping will melt off, but to fill it do it while hot to absorb a bit into the cake.)
  • Simply sprinkle it with Icing sugar.
Whatever way you choose to eat it, it will be delicious! ;)


Mum aka Funnybanana
P.S. Next week we go back to chicken.....this time a very special, very personal recipe by Funnybanana Dad!

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