My next recipe on this Sunday morning was to be the ‘Old-Fashioned Seed Cake’. I don’t think I’ve every eaten a seed cake before so I had been intrigued for quite some while about this cake. I admit I have had a complete blank for the last few weeks when shopping trying to find ‘caraway seeds’ which are needed for this cake. I have wandered up and down the aisles in the supermarkets, looking amongst the nuts and seeds, but to no avail. Doesn’t anybody around here sell caraway seeds I thought to myself. Then in the middle of the night a week or so ago I woke up and thought you silly person, why would caraway seeds be in the baking aisle, they’ll be with the herbs and spices. I should have looked in my ‘spice cupboard’ earlier, as there amongst all the other herbs and spices was a jar of caraway seeds!
The oven was already nice and warm from the teabread I had just baked at 160°C, so all I had to do was grease a 18cm (7″) deep lined round cake tin and line the base with parchment.
This again was an all in one recipe, so into my large mixing bowl I weighed 225g self-raising flour, 1 level tsp baking powder, 150g softened butter, 150g caster sugar, 2 large eggs and 2 tbsp milk. All the ingredients were beaten together with a wooden spoon for about a minute until thoroughly blended. The last two ingredients were then added – 50g chopped candied peel and just under 2 tsp caraway seeds (I kept a few back for the top of the cake). These were carefully folded in and the mixture was turned into the tin and the top levelled. The remaining caraway seeds were sprinkled over the top of the cake and it went into the oven for an hour.
It wasn’t long after I realised I had set the oven timer, but I hadn’t actually started it. Whilst the cake was baking I had made some sweet pastry for a chocolate tart I had also decided to make, so I tried to work out how long that had taken me and how long it had been in the fridge chilling for. I think I probably slightly over cooked the cake in the end, so my timings weren’t quite right!
After what I thought had been an hour the cake was well-risen and golden brown. The skewer, however, came out a bit moist, so I left the cake in for another five or so minutes. Once it was removed from the oven I left it in the tin for around 10 minutes and then turned it out onto a wire rack, after peeling the parchment off the bottom.
Mary states at the beginning of this recipe “You either love or loathe seed cake’ so I was a little apprehensive over trying a piece. To start with I wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not, one bite and I liked it, the next bite I wasn’t sure. By the end of the slice, I think I liked it, the caraway seeds gave it a very delicate liquorice flavour which wasn’t too overwhelming and you then got a little bit of sweetness from the small amount of mixed peel that went into the cake.
I think I do like it, I definitely don’t loathe it…although I do think I slightly overcooked my cake as to me it appeared slightly too dry!