Monday, August 27, 2012

Baking for Nightshift- Lemon Madeira Loaf

Anyone who lives in Auckland (and beyond) will probably have heard of, or been to, a cafe called Little and Friday. Kim Evans who owns it wrote a cookbook not so long ago and I think it has been very very popular. As someone who buys a lot of cookbooks, I tried to resist this one telling myself that I didn't need it, and that I probably wouldn't use it anyway. I manged to hold off....a bit BUT then I made the clinching fatal error and finally went to Little and Friday. OMG this place really is phenomenal and it is worthy of all the accolades it has received. Even though I had just had breakfast I felt obliged to try the extremely popular doughnuts. I mean all good Kiwi's love a good doughnut. I was brought up with those school lunch doughnuts which I still have very fond memories of....those ones with the mock cream and dab of the fake tasting jam.....YUM!!!! However L & F's doughnuts are in a whole league of their own. They are hard to describe except to say they would have to be the best I have ever ever had....ever!!! The book was effectively sold the minute I tried my hardest not to stuff that delicious doughnut down my throat. I NEED to make these! Look for the post where I actually do give them a go.

Anyway last week I was actually on a day shift....shock and absolute horror! As I usually bake for my first shift I thought I might as well bake for our morning tea so decided upon this recipe. I love Madeira cake and this one is made that little bit more special with the addition of a lemon syrup (I just made a simple sugar syrup with lemon juice added) and then adorned the top with a lemony glaze to make it look pretty. In the book she makes a simple syrup with 1 cup of sugar to 1 c up of water and the juice of 2 lemons. She brings it to the boil until the sugar is dissolved and then pours it over the hot cake. In the photo the topping looks really sugary but mine never looked like that and when I think about it how could it? Therefore I think a sugary mix of sugar with some lemon juice is probably the way to go. The ground almonds really gave this cake a good texture. I have already made it again and successfully halved the recipe for afternoon tea at a friends house yesterday. I would strongly suggest you give this recipe a go. It's easy and well worth it. I think it would keep well but I never got the chance to try this theory out. As the recipe makes 2 loaves try not to freak out about the amount of butter in get 2 for 1!

Lemon Madeira Loaf

350g butter, softened
1 1/4 c caster sugar
6 eggs
zest and juice of 3 lemons
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 c ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 170 C and grease and line 2 loaf tins.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix to combine.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold through the egg mixture with the almonds. Don't overmix.

The tins can be filled to 1 cm from the top but mine were both a bit smaller than that as my loaf tins must have been a bit bigger.

Bake about 50 mins or until cooked. Put the glaze on or else a nice lemon's up to you.

This would be delicious with lemon curd, whipped cream or yoghurt.

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