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Jessica Joy

Knitwear designer and writer

Baking: Madeira Cake

I think i’m having Great British Bake Off withdrawal symptoms. It’s silly how a TV program can be quite so exciting to one person. I actually don’t bake as much as i’d like to in reality, so I love that this program inspires me to make a mess and try new things. The little masterclass series was the best epilogue and itching to bake something, anything, I pulled out my baking bible, the GBBO series 1 recipe book and flipped to see what matched the ingredients in my cupboard; you guessed it.. Madeira cake won.

I usually find myself making little things; shortbread, cupcakes, biscuits – portions of things, but this time I was yearning to make a proper big, round cake. With some top masterclass tips in hand, I beat the hell out of my cake. Brilliant workout! Normally this task would take hours when I forget to take the butter out of the fridge in preparation; but, fear not, Mary taught me to soften cubes of cold butter in a bowl of luke-warm water. The fat and water won’t mix and your butter will be soft and pliable in minutes. Genius.

It took an unexpected HOUR to cook through, but I was so happy with the results. Mostly because it looked a lot like the picture in the book and tasted a-mazing. Job done!

Oh, and Mary Berry makes lining a cake tin look ridiculously easy, it isn’t! I’ve always thought lining a tin was a bit of an unnecessary faff, but the high sides definitely stopped some tinged edges in my fan oven.

Have you indulged in any baking this weekend? It’s so cosy to be wrapped up in an apron with baking smells, while it’s icy cold outside.

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