Tuesday, 11 August 2015

#Bakeofflovelies and an Afternoon Garden Party

It's that time of year again! The Great British Bake Off is back.
This is the one show I'm more than happy to get hyped up about...
It's such great viewing from the baking to the presenters and of course Paul and Mary.
I love how it's so easy to watch, perfect to wind down to and usually gets me itching to get in the kitchen and do some baking myself!
This year I'm trying to set myself the little challenge of baking one thing a week from the show.
It's a great excuse to work on my baking skills and have something sweet to share by the weekend.

This week I decided to go ahead with trying a Madeira cake. 
In all my time baking I have never made this one, which is surprising with it being a fairly standard loaf cake without anything too out of the ordinary in terms of ingredients. 
I decided to add to the traditional version by adding extra lemon and Lavender.
I love Lavender but especially in baking, however if you over-do it you can end up with a cake that tastes like old soap..!

 So I set about making my "Summer time" Madeira and it was very simple indeed. 
I managed to put it together whilst also making two giant Victoria Sponges for a weekend barbecue  and give the little guy a hand in it- He did some lemon grating but wandered off midway to watch Mr Bloom!
After doing a little research I found that most of the recipes were pretty much the same, but being a Nigella devotee I decided to use her recipe as a basis as her cakes have always turned out extremely well for me!

This is my own method using Nigella's as the foundation:

240g Unsalted Butter (I used Stork)
200g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs (medium)
210g Self Raising Flour
90g Plain Flour
Grated Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
1tsp of Dried Lavender
1tsp Vanilla (I used the extract syrup)

Combine the Flours and sift into a separate bowl
Cream the butter and sugar until light, pale and fluffy
Add the Vanilla and Lemon Zest
Add the Eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour after each addition
Gently mix then add the Lemon juice and dried Lavender
Pour into your greased and lined loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour.

The cake came out exactly as it was supposed to with a glorious long crack down one side;
When it had cooled I decided to drizzle it with a simple white icing and add grated lemon zest to the top.

As it was such a beautiful day I made us a little summer afternoon tea in the garden which the little one loved and took the opportunity to set a scene for my first Bake off cake of the season...!

I did enjoy getting out these pretty tea cups my sister gifted me a few months ago; she found them in a charity shop and they have all been hand-painted !

I have to say it was a perfect cake for a summers day;
Very soft and buttery and gorgeously yellow inside.
I'm please to say the lavender wasn't overwhelming and the lemon gave it a lovely tangy freshness!
It goes very well with a glass of elderflower cordial topped with soda water and fresh mint.

No soggy bottoms here.

Of course we had to use our sparkly drink stirrers that the lovely Hannah made us- 
it was a Party after all!?!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing our summer celebration...

If you'd like to, join in with #bakeofflovelies and show off your Bake Off bakes;
Join the link up below or hashtag #bakeofflovelies on Instagram or Twitter and I'll Share my Favourites every week..!



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