Madeira Cake with Caramelised Tangerines

by eat in my kitchen

Tangerine Madeira Cake

Weekend baking is my meditation, my time to relax and reflect, to slow down my pace and review the past few days. I enjoy the peaceful silence in the kitchen when I place bowls and butter, eggs and flour on my marble kitchen tops before I get started. My mother prepares her pastries in heavy ceramic bowls in black, green and blue and when I moved into my first flat she passed one of them on to me. Her old black bowl is my baking companion, this is where my sweet mixing and tasting begins, traced with scratches and cracks.

In the winter months I’m quite a coach potato on my lazy Sundays, I love my cosy afternoons on the sofa, with piles of books, magazines, pillows and blankets to defy the uncomfortable cold outside. Just give me a cup of tea and a warm cake freshly out of the oven and I’m happy. At the moment I love simple tea time treats that you can eat with your fingers, nothing too complicated. A spongy Madeira cake is perfect, the dough refined with the zest of tiny tangerines and their sweet juices. I could have stopped at that point but I went a bit further and topped it with caramelised slices of the citrus fruit which is easily done in five minutes. They were soft and sticky and brought even more fruitiness to this wonderful English treat which is, despite its name, not made with Madeira. Traditionally, it used to be savoured with the sweet Portuguese wine which led to its name, I skip that tradition and stick to my tea.

Tangerine Madeira Cake

 

Tangerine Madeira Cake

 Madeira Cake with Caramelised Tangerines

I recommend using small, firm organic tangerines for this recipe as they are easier to grate and sweet in taste.

For an 18cm / 7″ springform pan or a 1l / 2 pint loaf tin you need

plain flour 250g / 9 ounces
baking powder 1 teaspoon
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
tangerine zest 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed tangerine juice 3 tablespoons
butter, at room temperature, 200g / 7 ounces
sugar 200g / 7 ounces
organic eggs 3

For the topping
small organic tangerines, rinsed and very thinly sliced, 4-5
sugar 100g / 3.5 ounces
water 4 tablespoons

Set the oven to 180°C / 355°F (fan-assisted oven) and butter the springform pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and rub the zest into the mixture with your fingers.

In a large bowl, mix the butter until fluffy, add the sugar and continue mixing for a few minutes until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mix well in between. Quickly mix in the dry flour mixture and the tangerine juice, it should be well combined. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 60 minutes or until golden and firm on top. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean. If you bake the cake in a loaf tin, check after 45 minutes. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes before you take it out of the pan.

I caramelised the tangerines in 2 batches. In a sauce pan, bring half the tangerine slices, half the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water to the boil and cook on high temperature for 3-5 minutes. The water should bubble and evaporate. Take the pan off the heat immediately when the sugar starts to turn golden and caramelises. Quickly arrange the citrus slices on top of the cake as the caramel will become hard after a minute. Cook the remaining fruit slices to finish the cake. Use a very sharp kitchen knife to cut the caramelised top of the cake.

Tangerine Madeira Cake

 

Tangerine Madeira Cake

 

Tangerine Madeira Cake

 

Tangerine Madeira Cake

 

Tangerine Madeira Cake