Orchard Plum + Black Currant Madeira Cake with Mascarpone-Cassis Icing - By Imen McDonnell
Ingredients: 350g/12oz butter, at room temperature
350g/12oz caster sugar
6 free-range eggs
500g/18oz self-raising flour
6 tbsp milk
300g/10 oz peeled, pitted, thinly sliced sweet plums
200g black currant conserve
Madeira Cake did not originate in the Madeira Islands, rather from the
Portuguese Madeira wine that would have traditionally been served with this tea
cake in Ireland and the UK many years ago. This wildly popular (and, once
new-to-me), beautifully buttery, dense cake is normally prepared with just a
touch of lemon zest, but Ive pushed the limits and made it rich with summer
fruits, balanced with a creamy mascarpone, cassis-spiked icing. I added black
currant jam and a touch of smoked sea salt to the frosting, which is lovely, but
definitely optional and not necessary if you prefer a less profound flavour
profile. The pretty green plums in the photos were not used in the cake mix;
sweet, ripe plums are a must for this recipe. You could cut the recipe in half
and leave out the layers + icing altogether for a simple summer fruit Madeira.
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease two 18cm/7in round cake tins, line
the base with greaseproof paper and grease the paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy about 5
minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each
one and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the
mixture from curdling.
3. Sift the flour and gently fold in, with enough milk to give a mixture that
falls slowly from the spoon. Fold in the sliced plums.
4. Spoon the mixture equally into the prepared tins and lightly level the tops.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until golden-brown on
top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, turn it
out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
6. Level out each cake layer with a serrated cake knife so that they easily lay
flat on top of one another.
7. Spread a thick layer of black currant conserve on top of bottom cake layer.