Early in the year my good friends over at Le Gourmet Pantry sent me over a basket of goodies to celebrate the launch of their new online sustainable whole foods store which features some of my recipes that use the products available. The very first items that stood out to me from my basket were the rose chocolate drops and the Caraway seeds. I love getting excited by ingredients that I wouldn’t normally use or have trouble finding. It makes my brain zing with lots of ideas. And I jumped straight into developing this cake. The majority of the ingredients can be purchased online from Le Gourmet Pantry.
This cake is simply divine. I have easily made this every month for the last year and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t made it all my life! Caraway seeds are similar in design to fennel seeds and have an earthy aroma and mild anise flavour. I would have thought of Caraway seeds as something savoury and used with the likes of pork and in curries, but much to my delight and unfortunate for my waist line, Caraway seeds are amazing in old fashioned tea cake. The only way I can fully describe these seeds is to say that using them makes me feel grown up! Eating this cake makes me feel like I am taking afternoon tea in Victorian times. If you like Earl Gray tea and tea brack, you will probably love this cake.
CARAWAY SEED CAKE
This is a no frills cake, you don’t need icing or cream. It is luxurious enough as it is.
For this cake I use a few different sugars, more for the fact that I have a few that I need to use up and I like the different colours and flavours they add. But if you don’t have coconut sugar or Demerara you can just opt for 150 g of golden caster sugar and a little extra to sprinkle the top.
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 130 g golden caster sugar
- 20 g coconut sugar
- 150 g self raising flour
- 50 g ground almonds
- 1 cup good thick Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp Demerara sugar, to decorate
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds, to decorate
Heat the oven to 170°C (fan oven), and line a loaf tine with parchment.
Beat the coconut sugar, golden caster sugar and butter together until lighter in colour and smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well in between each addition. Then mix in the vanilla.
Fold in the Greek yogurt and add the Caraway seeds.
In a separate small bowl, Sieve the flour and ground almonds to remove any lumps. Then sieve them again into the wet ingredients bowl , then fold together very gently until all the flour is incorporated. Sieving twice lends to a really light cake as it adds in lots of air.
Spoon into the lined loaf tin. Sprinkle with the 1 tsp of sugar and the flaked almonds and bake for 45 minutes.
If you are like me and your oven doesn’t evenly brown, then after 30 minutes, very gently open the oven and turn the cake 180 degrees to brown evenly and cook for the remaining 15 minutes. The cake should be very light and soft to the touch and a knife or skewer will come out clean when inserted. The cake is ready to take out and cool.
I’m sure I’d love this! Caraway seeds are the most neglected and underused ingredient, and I can’t imagine why!