Caraway Seed Cake
I hated Seed Cake as a child, not least because my brothers joked that there were mouse droppings in it! Now it’s one of my great favourites. My father had a passion for it, so it was always on offer when we went to visit our Tipperary relations on Sunday afternoons.
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, free-range if possible
225g plain flour
1 tablespoon ground almonds (optional)
1-2 tablespoons caraway seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
½ teaspoon baking powder
18cm round, 7.5cm deep cake tin, lined with greaseproof paper
Cream the butter, add the sugar and beat until very soft and light. Whisk the eggs and gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Stir in the flour, add ground almonds, if using and a good pinch of salt. Add the caraway seeds and the baking powder with the last of the flour. Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin, scatter a few more caraway seeds on top and bake in a preheated moderate oven, 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4, for 50–60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. This cake keeps well in an airtight tin.
Caraway seeds vary in intensity, home grown achenes (seeds) tend to be decidedly more aromatic than bought caraway.