As a sponge cake it makes a great base to trifles of all kinds, but it can also be iced and decorated to serve as a birthday cake or a cake for special occasions. It makes a particularly good base for an Easter cake.
Madeira CakeServes: 10
Ingredients:225g (1/2 lb) sponge flour (00 grade)
150g (1/3 lb) caster sugar
150g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
Method:Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.
With an electric whisk, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract, adding a little flour every now and then to prevent curdling. Once the eggs have been completely combined add the remainder of the flour until all the ingredients are completely combined.
Turn the batter into a greased deep 18cm (7 in) diameter springform cake tin, the base of which has been lined with baking parchment. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 160ºC (320ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for 60 minutes, or until baked through and golden brown on top (a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should emerge cleanly).
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before storing or serving.