Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Nun's Seed Cake

In over 40 years of baking, I've never made a caraway seed cake, so it's a little strange that the notion of making one suddenly came to me. The traditional seed cake is usually made by adding a few teaspoons of caraway seeds to a Madeira Cake recipe, instead of the lemon, but while looking through one of my recipe books I found a recipe called Nun's Seed Cake, which added a little cinnamon and orange flower water too. The author of 'Ultimate Cake', Barbara Maher, said that her recipe is adapted from Hannah Glasses's recipe in 'The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy', written in 1747.

The version I made used 200g butter and 150g caster sugar, creamed together, followed by the addition of three eggs. 200g SR flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of orange flower water and 2-3 teaspoons of caraway seeds are folded in, before baking in a 2lb loaf tin for an hour at 180C, or until a test probe comes out clean and dry.

Barbara Maher was particularly pleased with how caraway and orange flower water complimented each other, and I have to agree with her. Caraway seeds are not to everyone's taste but as long as they are used in moderation they don't overwhelm this particular cake. The three flavours of cinnamon, caraway and orange flower water blended together very subtly and harmoniously in a moist, close-textured cake.


Baking Addict said...

I am in the 'don't like caraway seeds camp' but the flavour combination sounds lovely and I can see how they would work well together. Your cake looks delicious with a great texture.

Snowy said...

Seed cake was my father's favourite cake, and I love your use of orange flower water and cinnamon as additions. It looks very moist and delicious.