Monday, February 11, 2013

Traditional treat

I felt like doing a bit of baking yesterday afternoon, so I whipped up a seed cake (p53). I've been keen to try this cake for a while, but it had to wait until I'd got around to buying caraway seeds. To our modern 'cakes must be rich, sweet and thick with icing' mindset, it might seem a bit odd to put seeds in a cake, but I'm pretty sure seed cakes have been around for a good long while.

There's nothing difficult about the recipe; you just cream butter and sugar, then stir in a bit of brandy (or whiskey, or skip the grog altogether if you prefer. I used brandy). Next, you alternately add beaten eggs and sifted dry ingredients, and finally, stir through the caraway seeds.

This made for a fairly thick mixture, more like a biscuit dough than a cake batter. I smoothed it out into a cake tin and placed it in the oven for half an hour. When it came out of the oven, I let it rest in the tin for ten minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack - and immediately cutting myself a chunk, because who can resist cake warm from the oven?

I've decided I like caraway seeds. They have an almost aniseedy flavour, which is always going to appeal to me. They impart flavour and texture to the cake, which without the seeds would be soft and sweet, but very plain. Seed cake might be a bit old-fashioned, but it sure tastes good!

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