Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Georgian Seed Cake stands the test of time

Georgian celebration events continue at Cusworth Hall with a Georgian Family day with activities for everyone to enjoy. In the Great Kitchen, I prepared favourite baking recipes from the Georgian and Regency era for visitors to sample. Seed Cake proved as popular as then. This recipe from The Universal Cook written in 1806 by Francis Collingwood & John Woollams, who were principal cooks at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, proves that good recipes can stand the test of time.
I’ve adapted the old recipe for modern ovens. The Georgian baker would use a Hoop which is a round metal band without a top or a bottom but nowadays, an ordinary cake or loaf tin would be fine.

Seed Cake
225g/8 oz butter
225g/8 oz sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
225g/8oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
3 tsps caraway seed
1 tbsp ground almonds
Pinch of salt
A little milk to mix 
1 tbsp demerara sugar for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to Mark 3, 170C. Grease and line an 21cm/8 inch cake tin. Cream the butter and fat with the sugar. Add the eggs gradually. Mix the flours, baking powder, mixed spice, salt and caraway seed together. Fold these into the creamed mixture. Add a little milk to give a soft consistency. Pour into the cake tin and sprinkle demerara sugar on the top if desired. Bake in a slow oven for about one and a half hours. 

It’s the caraway seed with its distinctive anise taste which divides everyone on taste. Where do you stand on caraway seed – love it or hate it? 

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