Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Seed Cake

I'm already trying out new recipes for this summer's tea.  I have a theme in mind, but won't spill it until I'm sure it's going to work.

This cake sounds like an odd concept.  At first, I assumed the seeds were going to be poppy.  Caraway in a cake?  It's a British thing.  The brandy blends with it to create an almost, but not quite, anise effect.  The first bite is a bit of a surprise, but the taste buds adapt quickly and it becomes a more subtle flavoring.

Also British were the metric measurements I started with.  After translating them into something an American can use (with the help of a digital scale), I realized that the amounts round very nicely into the volume measurements I'm used to.  Most likely, this recipe was translated the other way at one point.  Wish I had found that original recipe; it would have saved me some time.

2 sticks butter (1 C), plus more to grease the pan
1 C sugar
4 eggs
2 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
*1/4 C caraway seeds
*1/2 tsp mace
*1/2 tsp nutmeg
*3 Tb brandy
1/4 C milk
2 Tb brown sugar

1.  Prepare an 8" cake pan by buttering it, lining it with waxed paper, and buttering the paper.  Preheat oven to 350º.

2.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in caraway, mace, and nutmeg.

3.  Sift together flour and baking powder.  Beat in until just combined.  Add brandy and milk and stir to combine.  The batter will be very thick, but able to move with a spoon.  If it is too pasty, add more milk a tablespoon at a time.

4.  Spread batter in cake pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle with the brown sugar.  Bake 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and cool brown sugar-side up on a rack to room temperature.  The cake does not need to be iced.

Makes one 8" cake, about 8 servings

Difficulty rating π

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