Baking, Cakes, Desserts, International, Irish

Tales of Woe ~ that Madeira Tart

I’ve always wanted to make a Bakewell Tart. But, with our particular allergy set, ground almonds in anything is just asking for trouble.  Back around the first of February, I came across this recipe for Irish Bakewell Buns. The ingenious thing is – unlike a traditional Bakewell Tart,  she didn’t use ground almonds… she used a Madeira sponge for the topping.

Okay..fine.. I skimmed the recipe – saw the word Madeira – and my monkey brain said, “How cool! Madeira wine instead of almonds! … just the thing to give that nutty, rich flavor without dealing with the consequences of tree nuts.”


If you’re from the UK – you already know where this is headed… feel free to bury your face in your hands.

Anyway… I ran out and scoured the mountainside for Madeira to make those lovely buns. It wasn’t easy… it took me nearly 3 weeks to locate a bottle.  It appears Madeira isn’t terribly popular up here in the hills.


Then, it was time to make the buns….

The thing is… Madeira Sponge Cake isn’t a cake with Madeira in it. It’s just a name…. like Victoria Sponge …or Lemon Sponge.   Madeira was just a different type of eggy sponge cake that used to be served with – yes, Madeira.

(but… I could have sworn I saw 6 Tablespoons Madeira  in the recipe….)

Not one to be beaten away from any task – I decided to do it my way… and make a Madeira Sponge…with actual Madeira Wine. So, my apologies to Janine at Cooking With Craic for desecrating her recipe… but, I think mine are pretty damned good, too. The Madeira isn’t overly heavy; you get hits of fruity nuttiness and a hint of boozy cake. It’s just the perfect snack cake / tart / pie thing to go with a steaming hot cuppa joe.[amd-yrecipe-recipe:3]