Friday 12 February 2016

Sultana, Seed and Cherry Madeira Traybake

Have you been flipping pancakes this week? I have, and needless to say I stuck to the same old, same old safe bet which I do year on year, simply filling mine with honey, berries and lemon. I always mean to try out something new for a change, but never quite get round to doing it when there's countless essays and revision looming over me.

I haven't had much time this week to bake but I did find the time to make this sultana, seed and cherry madeira traybake. And when I say it's quick to do, I really mean quick! I whipped up this traybake in just over an hour - start to finish, ready to eat.

A traybake to me just seems more effortless than making a layer cake, there's no need for icing on this cake... delicious just as it is. I sprinkled the top with flaked almonds and granulated sugar for a crunchy texture. And you can infuse the granulated sugar with tea, adding another flavour element to the cake if you want (preferably Lapsang Souchong, although something a little more subtle such as Lady Grey would also work just as well) simply leave an unused tea bag in 400g of the sugar overnight, then store the rest that you don't use in an air-tight container for another baked creation. Although I have to admit, I'm too impatient for this  (I only just thought about baking it the day I did) but I can say that it tastes perfectly good without this tea addition also so take your pick.

I added 30g of glace cherries to the mix because this is all I had, so it's mainly sultanas and less of the cherry, if I'd had more I would've - if you want to add more you can, just add less sultanas.

Madeira cake was a very popular addition to any Edwardian high tea affair, and I think the addition
of poppy, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds makes a great modern twist to this rather vintage cake.

Sultana,  Seed  and  Cherry  Madeira  Traybake

Serves 20

180g unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g self-raising flour
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g mixed seeds - poppy, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower
small handful of glace cherries - about 30g
70g sultanas, soaked beforehand in boiling water
small amount of granulated sugar (infused with Lapsang Souchong tea- optional, see above for tip)
handful of flaked almonds
icing sugar to decorate


Preheat the oven to 180° C/ 350° F/ gas 6. Line and grease a 12 x 9 inch high sided roasting tin/swiss roll tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together for 4 minutes until creamy, light and smooth. Then, one by one add in the eggs, beat until incorporated. Fold in the flour carefully, and just enough milk until the mixture slowly falls off the spoon (you may not need the full 3 tbsp), stir in the vanilla extract. Fold in the seeds, soaked sultanas and glace cherries chopped into thirds - rinsed under water first and then patted dry.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level out. Sprinkle the top with sugar and flaked almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden and when inserting a skewer, it comes out clean. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 20 equal sized squares, dust with icing sugar before serving. Store in an air tight container.