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Madeira cake with buttercream frosting

CLEARLY this is a big cake (I bake in slabs and cut to size).

CLEARLY this is a big cake (I bake in slabs and cut to size). So if you think a smaller quantity is all that is needed, just half everything.

INGREDIENTS

:: 450g unsalted butter

:: 450g caster sug ar
:: 8 eggs
:: 2tsp good-quality vanilla essence
:: 450g self-raising flour

Beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add 8 eggs, one at a time, and 2 teaspoons of good-quality vanilla essence, then fold in the self-raising flour.

Pour into two lined, 9in, round tins and bake at 150C for about 40 minutes, until the sponge springs back from a touch.  Cool and enjoy. You can also add buttercream frosting.

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

:: 250g unsalted butter
:: 500g icing sugar
:: 3 tablespoons water
:: 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Simply cream together the butter and icing sugar, add the water and essence.

Kate says, for a chocolate cake replace 10% of the flour with cocoa and for chocolate buttercream, simply omit the vanilla essence and add 100g of melted, good-quality dark chocolate.

For added citrus  zest, Kate says you can also ring the changes by adding the zest of a lemon or orange per 100g sugar.

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