Great British Bake Off's Val Stones' Lemon and Poppy Seed Madeira Cake

Mother's Day 2021 | Ulster Weavers

Great British Bake Off's Valerie Stones has been kind enough to share the recipe for her scrumptious Lemon and Poppy Seed Madeira Cake, so you can bake it at home for your family and friends! Inspired by an Elderfower and Lemon cake recipe from Val's first book, this light and tangy madeira is made with lemon flavoured chantilly cream and a zesty lemon drizzle.

Valerie loves Ulster Weavers and uses our kitchen textiles regularly while baking - she particularly enjoys using our 100% Cotton Tea Towels as table cloths when displaying her amazing cakes and bakes.  

Serves 12

Preparation
15 minutes, baking time-30-35 minutes, cooling time 30 minutes, decorating time 15-20 minutes.

What you will need
Grease and flour 4 x 23cm cake tins, hand held electric mixer or stand mixer.

Ingredients

For the cake
30g blue poppy seeds
100ml whole milk
220g eggs out of shells
50g softened unsalted butter
170g soft margarine
220g caster sugar
220g self raising flour (this can be substituted with gluten free self raising flour)
5g baking powder
1 teaspoon of lemon extract
Zest of an unwaxed lemon

For the filling
500ml double cream
1 tablespoon dried milk powder (Val uses whole milk powder as it helps stabilize the cream)
1-2 heaped tablespoons sifted icing sugar
4-8 tablespoons of good quality lemon curd or homemade curd
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons limoncello liquor (optional)

For the lemon curd
75g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
125ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornflour
Zest of 3 lemons
3 large free range eggs beaten lightly

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Method

For the Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder.

3. Place the eggs, sugar, butter, margarine into the mixer and combine, add the flour sifted and beat for two minutes on full , do not over beat.

4. Fold in the poppy seeds, lemon extract and zest until well combined.

5. Pour the mixture equally into 4 pans.

6. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, the cakes are baked when you listen to them, they are ready if they have stopped singing (only slight crackles from mixture). Let the cakes stand for 5 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack, cover with a clean Ulster Weavers Tea Towel until you are ready to assemble the cake.

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For the Filling:

1. Place the cream in a mixer bowl and add the milk powder, stir until combined, leave for 2 minutes, add the icing sugar and gradually beat the cream to combine.

2. Beat the cream on moderate until it thickens and reaches “stiff peak”. 

3. Fold in the lemon curd, and extract until completely combined, then slowly fold in the liquor.

4. Place in the fridge to firm up a little before assembling the cake. 

For the Lemon Curd:

1. Place the cornflour in a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to form a smooth liquid.

2. Place the zest, lemon juice, sugar and butter in a bowl and stir to combine the ingredients and begin to dissolve the sugar, stir in the cornflour mixture. Add the eggs and beat well to combine.

3. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on medium heat for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk to combine all the ingredients. Repeat this again and you should see the mixture thickening around the edges of the bowl. Whisk the ingredients making sure the mixture is smooth before microwaving again.

4. Microwave on medium for a further 1 minute and whisk again.

5. Microwave for 2 minutes on full power and whisk again the mixture should be thickening at this point.

6. Microwave for 2 minutes on full power and whisk again the mixture should be thickening at this point. Remember that the heat will make the curd seem to be thinner than it is and as it cools it will thicken further.

7. Take a wooden spoon and stir the mixture so that the back of the spoon is well coated. Using the handle of a knife or spoon run it along the back of the wooden spoon through the curd to leave a trail. After half a minute, if the mixture hasn’t run back and the gap remains open the curd has reached setting point.

8. When you are happy with the set, pour the curd into some jars using a heat proof jug. Cover each with a a waxed circle and leave to cool completely before storing in the fridge.

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To Assemble the Cake:

1. Place a dessert spoon of the filling on a serving board and place one of the cakes on the board (invert the cake so the top will be level). Brush the top of the cake with the lemon drizzle then spread 2 tablespoons of lemon curd on the cake.

2. Place 3 tablespoons of the cream filling on the cake and spread evenly to ensure it is as level as possible. Repeat with the next cakes. 

3. Stack each layer and place the last cake, base side up on top uppermost.

4. Half fill a piping bag fitted with a 12 point star to decorate the top of the cake and then spread the remainder of the cream evenly around the sides and top of the cake.

5. Allow the cake to chill for 30 minutes before serving. This cake will keep for up to 4 days if refrigerated. The cakes can also be frozen individually before filling for up to a month.

If you enjoyed this recipe and would like to try another one of Valerie's famous cakes, you can find them in her book 'The Cake Whisperer' or via her website https://www.bakerval.com/

Who is Valerie Stones?

Suki Tea | Local Supplier 2021 | Ulster Weavers

Valerie Stones aka The Cake Whisperer, is best known for her appearance in the 2016 series of Great British Bake Off. She brought joy and humor to the show with her constant clumsiness, her love of her Somerset home and her need to sing and talk to every one of her cakes and bakes while in the famous tent. 

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