Cake-licious: Orange Madeira

Spent a good part of this past weekend poring over pictures and recipes of cakes. That’s what happens when two of your friends are young mothers whose babies will be turning one soon. One of them plans to order a cake from a lady who runs a bake business right out of her kitchen, the other who still has 6 months to plan the event, plans to brush up her baking skills by then and create a homemade one for her little one. I’m sure both cakes and birthday parties will be equally memorable.

When it comes to baking, Rachel Allen is my God, because she helped me get over my inhibitions. When I decided to bake my first non-chocolate cake, it had to be Rachel’s Orange Madeira cake.  It’s a simple, citrusy twist on a classic Madeira. I watched her do it on her show ‘Bake’ on Discovery Travel & Living. I followed her recipe to the T and prayed that it would come out right. It did. It was one of my best experiences in the kitchen.

Orange Madeira Cake (The paper mache cat isn't edible)

Here’s Rachel’s recipe.

You will need…
175 g butter that’s been softenend
175 g caster sugar
3 beaten eggs
the finely grated zest of 2 oranges
225 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

For the topping:  75 g icing sugar and 4 tablespoons of some more of that orange juice

Here’s what you have to do
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.  Lightly grease a loaf tin

2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs in three stages, beating well between each addition, then add the orange zest.

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in with the orange juice. Stop when all the flour is incorporated. Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.

5. Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

6. Allow to stand in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely..

7. For the topping, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and stir in just enough orange juice until it is soft but not runny. If you want the icing to stay just on the top of the cake, place the cooled cake back in the tin and spread the icing over the top. You may find it easier to dip a spoon or table knife in boiling water to spread the icing more easily. Allow the topping to set and cut into slices to serve.

 Rachel suggests a variation of the same recipe using coffee instead of oranges.  I’m going to try it out. Fingers crossed!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. madhumita
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 10:30:03

    i cant wait to go home to try this one out!


  2. Akshata
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 08:02:52

    i tried the same one too and gosh it is just too good! the results are beyond expectations! loved yours, looks great! chomp chomp


  3. hesitantscribe
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 19:35:53

    Very nice. Please send parcel in courier.
    ps: Impressive photography.


    • Namrata Kilpady
      Sep 05, 2011 @ 14:15:48

      Thank you, Hesitant Scribe. Will gladly parcel some over to you… but what will you give me in return. I accept food. (Hint: A trough of mini idlis soaked in ghee-ful sambar will do). Let’s make this a barter system.


  4. kate Goodall
    Feb 03, 2013 @ 19:45:56

    This cake works well with gluten free flour and baking powder. My coeliac colleague loves it.


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