The picture of myself I use everywhere is a picture of me looking at a Buddha’s Hand. I recently thought that it was high time to create a recipe using Buddha’s Hands – and just in time for Halloween! I searched the internet and found nothing that was a really complete recipe. Then I watched an episode of the Great British Baking Show and saw them making Madeira Cake and realized a Buddha’s Hand Madeira Cake would be perfect!
I realized it would be perfect because a traditional Madeira Cake is a lemon sponge cake that apparently went well with Portuguese Madeira Wine. Buddha’s Hand comes from the citron family so it would be a perfect substitute.
For those of you unfamiliar with British baking, many of the recipes have self-rising flour and caster sugar. Both of these ingredients may be hard to find but they are easy to substitute. For caster sugar, use a food processor to finely grind regular granular sugar. For self-rising flour add two teaspoons of baking powder for 1 cup of flour.
This cake not only made me happy because I made a recipe from Buddha’s Hand but it also tasted great as well. Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Mother-In-Law’s Madeira Cake.
Special Equipment – hand mixer, zester
1) 2 sticks of butter
2) 1 3/4 cups caster sugar (I was lucky enough to find caster sugar at my local grocery store but as I say above, just use a food processor to make regular granulated sugar finer)
3) 3 large eggs
4) 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
5) Zest of a Buddha’s hand. A Buddha’s Hand is quite large so you can zest almost all the Buddha’s hand except for the tips of the fingers you can use for decoration.
6) 2 teaspoons baking powder
7) 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
Preparation and Baking
1) Turn the oven to 325 degrees.
2) Butter and flour a loaf pan.
3) Cream the butter and sugar. At this point I can see why the British use caster sugar – the fine sugar crystals really make the mixture smooth.
4) Add about 1/2 the Buddha’s Hand zest
5) Add the eggs one at a time then add a tablespoon of flour with each egg.
6) Add the rest of the flour, mix well.
7) Add the other half of the Buddha’s Hand zest.
The batter should be light and fluffy.
8) Using a rubber spatula or something similar you have on hand, scoop the mixture into the loaf pan.
9) Sprinkle a little bit of caster sugar on top of the batter.
10) Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes – 1 hour (depending on your oven, 45 minutes worked for me). When a toothpick poked into the cake comes out clean, it’s done.
11) Let the cake cool.
12) When the cake is completely cool, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
13) Add the Buddha’s Hand fingers on top for decoration.