This cake does not itself contain Madeira wine but was originally made to eat accompanied by a glass of the fortified wine. It has a firm, even but light texture. Seed cake is a variation that has, unaccountably, fallen from favour. Caraway seeds lend a slightly aniseed flavour.
MAKES ABOUT 12 SLICES
175 g (6 oz) butter
175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
100 g (4 oz) plain flour
100 g (4 oz) self-raising flour
about 15 - 30 ml (1 - 2 tbsp) fresh milk
2 - 3 thin slices of citron peel
1. Grease and line a deep 18 cm (7 inch) round cake tin.
2. Cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla essence until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Sift the two flours together and fold into the creamed mixture, adding a little milk if necessary to give a dropping consistency.
3. Turn into the prepared tin and bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 20 minutes. Arrange the citron slices across the top of the cake and return it to the oven for a further 40 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.