Because sometimes you simply just need a slice of cake...
In my experience on those kind of days Madeira type of cake is the best - quick and easy to make and so many flavour possibilities. Yes, you can keep it nice and simple by just adding few drops of vanilla essence, but why, why when it can be so much more by just adding a tablespoon, or tow, of your favourite marmalade ;) In my case - it's orange. I carried the flavour not only within the cake itself, but also in the icing - which I like only as a thin layer of it, on the top, just enough.
The cake will keep well, covered in a cling film for 3-4 days, though it didn't have a chance to last that long at my house... If you fancy it and you'll bake a vanilla/plain version, you can pour some rum or brandy (mixed with a bit of warm water) over it, when it's still warm and still in the baking tin.
How to make it...
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 175 g butter, at room temperature
- 175 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 1 cup icing sugar
- few drops of orange essence
- hot water
- candied orange peel
Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a 900 g loaf tin. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of food processor and blend until it's pale cream. With the motor running and 1 egg at a time, if you want them to prevent from curdling add a tablespoon of flour with the first egg.
When the eggs have been fully incorporated add the flour, milk and orange marmalade. Whizz until you have a smooth cake batter, scraping down the sides if needed.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 45-50 minutes, util the skewer comes out clean. Don't over bake it though, as it will be very dry. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool in the baking tin for about 10 minutes before taking it out and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled prepare the icing - in a small bowl place the icing sugar and orange essence and add a tablespoon of hot water at a time, mixing constantly. You're aiming for a smooth, thick but runny consistency. Pour over the cake and decorate (if wanted) with some orange candied peel before the icing sets completely. Once the icing sets, cut into slices and enjoy!
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