After the disaster that befell the UK on Friday, there was nothing else to do but bake. I had been meaning to try out this Dan Lepard recipe for toasted almond madeira cake for a while and the end of last week seemed like the right time to give what seemed a very comforting and wintery cake a try.
If I’m honest I thought it would be a bit moister and denser than it was so may try it with ground almonds instead of toasted flaked ones next time. It was still delicious with a cup of tea on a rainy summers afternoon. Dan said the method of mixing in half of the flour before adding the eggs results in a finer crumb texture and it definitely does make a difference.
Toasted Almond Madeira Cake
100g flaked almonds
125g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
25ml madeira, marsala or sweet sherry
75g creme fraiche or thick sour cream
200g plain flour
3 medium eggs
1 tsp baking powder
flaked almonds and demerara sugar to finish
Line a long deep loaf tin with non-stick paper, and heat the oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional).
Spread the flaked almonds on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes until golden, then leave to cool.
Beat the butter and sugar until smooth, then add the madeira, creme fraiche and roughly half the flour (measure it into another bowl then save the rest for later). Beat everything together for a few minutes with an electric mixer until light in colour and very smooth.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then mix the remaining flour with the baking powder and fold through the egg mixture. Fold in the almonds, then spoon the mixture into the tin. Sprinkle the top heavily with flaked almonds and demerara sugar then bake for about 60 to 70 minutes or until a skewer poked in comes out clean.