‘Cake?’ Lady Selina thought about it, was doubtful.
‘We are serving very good seed cake, my lady. I can recommend it.’
‘Seed cake? I haven't eaten seed cake for years. It is real seed cake?’
‘Oh, yes, my lady. The cook has had the recipe for years. You'll enjoy it, I'm sure.’
Henry gave a glance at one of his retinue, and the lad departed in search of seed cake.”
Seed cake? What the heck is seed cake? I was inpired this week by Agatha Christie's novel “At Bertram's Hotel” - one of Miss Marple's mysteries. I can just picture Lady Selina, in that oh-so-very-proper-English-accent saying: “It is real seed cake?” Well, I've solved my own little mystery by baking this interesting bread! The seeds in question are caraway seeds!
Here's the recipe:
1¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground almonds
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup maple sugar, or sweetener of choice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
3 tablespoons caraway seeds
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, salt and almonds. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar until light colored and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately, a little at a time, until it is fully incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake for 50-60 minutes or until lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes then invert on a rack and cool completely. Serve with butter or whipped cream.