Madeira cakes

The Simple Things - - CAKE IN THE HOUSE -

Apart from Christ­mas cake, the cake I re­mem­ber my mum mak­ing most was Madeira. Both of th­ese ver­sions have an in­trigu­ing flo­ral note. It goes dry eas­ily, so don’t over­cook it.

SAF­FRON AND CAR­DAMOM

Pinch of saf­fron strands Scant ½ tsp car­damom seeds (from 5 fat green car­damom pods) 1 tbsp milk 175g but­ter 175g caster sugar 3 eggs 225g plain flour 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der

1 Pre­heat oven to 170C/Fan 150C/ 325F. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with bak­ing parch­ment. Place the saf­fron and car­damom seeds in a pes­tle and mor­tar and crush well. Tip the crushed spices into a saucepan, add the milk and heat up just a lit­tle. Set aside and al­low to in­fuse.

2 In a bowl, beat the but­ter well un­til soft and light, then add the sugar and beat again. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then sift in the flour and bak­ing pow­der. Add the milk and spice mix­ture and stir to com­bine.

3 Tip the mix­ture into the pre­pared loaf tin, spread­ing it out evenly. Bake for 50 mins or un­til risen and golden, and a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 mins, then trans­fer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into slices to serve.

PIS­TA­CHIO AND ROSE

175g but­ter, soft­ened 200g caster sugar 3 eggs 1 tsp rose wa­ter 50g pis­ta­chio nuts, chopped 225g plain flour 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der 2 tbsp milk

1 Pre­heat oven to 170C/Fan 150C/ 325F. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with bak­ing parch­ment. In a bowl, beat but­ter un­til soft and light, then add the sugar and beat again. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the rose wa­ter and chopped nuts. Sift in flour, bak­ing pow­der and milk.

2 Tip the mix into pre­pared loaf tin, spread­ing out evenly. Bake for 55 mins or un­til a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. Leave in tin for 10 mins, then trans­fer to a wire rack. Cut into slices to serve.

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