A bit of a plain Jane, you might think.
But we still all love it. There are times when a piece of really good plain cake is all you want. In this case I would choose to serve it with a glass of chilled Madeira wine, which is in fact what it was invented for.
The Delia Online Cookery School: Watch how to make more loaf cakes including Very Fruity Irish Tea Cake and Marmalade Cake win our Loaf Cakes lesson. Just click the recipe image to play.
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes.
Start by sifting the flour, salt and baking powder into a roomy mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down.
Then simply add the butter, eggs, sugar and grated zest and, using an electric hand whisk, combine them for about 1 minute until you have a smooth consistency. Then add the milk, a tablespoon at a time – you need enough to make a creamy consistency that drops off a spoon easily when tapped on the side of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much milk – it needs to be a little stiffer than a sponge cake mix.
Now spoon the mixture into the loaf tin, levelling it off with the back of a tablespoon, and bake on a lower shelf so that the top of the tin is aligned with the centre of the oven for 1 hour or until it feels springy in the centre. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight tin in its liner.
If you like to follow tradition you can lightly place a thin slice of candied citron peel on the surface before baking.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3
Using a fan-assisted oven? Click here
The Delia Online bakeware range is now available online, and you can buy our Delia Online Loaf Tin direct from Silverwood.