Caraway and orange seed cake

Last November I was reading the Guardian saturday supplement and came across the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Carroway recipes (I do love this column, you get all sort of interesting info and history as well as the recipes). Caraway is not a flavour i am particularly familiar with and along with dill reminds me of Eastern European Cooking. However I thought that the cake listed would be something really interesting to try. Its taken almost a year to get round to this but here it is – copied from the above the link


This simple cake is great with a cup of tea. It keeps well for a few days in an airtight tin – if anything, it tastes even better. Makes one 22cm cake.

250g butter, softened, plus a little more for buttering the tin
350g self-raising flour
½ tsp ground mace
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
30g caraway seeds
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
80g candied orange peel
4 tbsp milk 
4 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp demerara sugar

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 22cm spring-form cake tin, line with baking parchment and butter the parchment.

Into a bowl, sift the flour, mace, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the caraway, orange zest and candied peel. Fold in the flour until just combined, then stir in the milk and brandy. Spoon into the tin and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the demerara evenly over the top and bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a rack to cool completely.


I made one change to the recipe in that I only had 16g of caraway but the taste turned our pretty intense anyway. Unfortunately there was a pocket of uncooked cake just off centre and when i inserted a knife to check it was cooked i missed it so after the cake cooled I just scooped it out.

The flavour of the cake is interesting, don’t get me wrong its nice, but totally not what you expect from a cake. Its almost the opposite of a sweet bread since sweetness (what you expect from a cake) is much lower down on the list of flavours (if that makes any sense). Its an afternoon cake for enjoying with a cup of tea.


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