20 July 2006

making like hobbits (and dwarves)


Seed cake.
My new favourite.

Very appropriate as we have been listening to The Hobbit in the car on the school run this week.

'Come along in, and have some tea!' Bilbo managed to say after taking a deep breath.
'A little beer would suit me better, if it is all the same to you, my good sir,' said Balin with the white beard. 'But I don't mind some cake - seed cake, if you have any.'
'Lots!' Bilbo found himself answering, to his own surprise; and he found himself scuttling off, too, to the cellar to fill a pint beer-mug, and then to a pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.

Seed Cake

120g unsalted butter, softened
120g castor sugar
4 eggs
180g self-raising sugar
50g ground almonds
50g mixed peel, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp milk
2 tsp caraway seeds

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and flour, a little at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Fold in the rest of the ingredients and spoon into a greased and lined 15cm round tin.
Bake for 45 minutes at 160C until lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Recipe from Epicure.

Serve with beer if you're feeling dwarfish, or coffee if you're trying to get Show and Tell: Your Coffee Machine cunningly into a post.


Lazy cow said...

Saw that recipe in the Age too! Don't know if I can come at mixed peel though.
We have the same cafetiere. Which reminds me, must go photograph it.

blackbird said...

And does this coffee pot make two cups only?

Don't you love the look of it?
It has such an attitude about it...

herhimnbryn said...

Oh Coffee, cake AND Bilbo!
Lovely, lovely post Pea Lady.

BabelBabe said...

I need one of those coffee makers, so I can stop spending all my disposable income at Starbucks.

I am feeling bake-y, too. Maybe I will make seed cake.

and dear, i didn't mean YOU were lame, my meme answers were lame. and so-so. and yawningly boring. but i needed a meme for, you know, national meme week, which I totally made up, btw.

Elizabeth said...

Mmm seed cake. I adore nuts and seeds in things so I will have to try this recipe ( when it is not too hot to bake) Nice seque into the coffee machine pic but I am having mine with tea!

Laura/PFG said...

ooh!! the coffee machine is neat!!

i wish i knew how to convert measurements....

and i don't know where to buy caraway seeds. *le hmph*

Katya said...

That seed cake looks good. What is castor sugar?

sueeeus said...

I just got one of those coffee makers and quite enjoyed the results. I've not tried that kind before, and I was actually inspired to try it based on recollection of YOURS hanging from your iron pot rack in the city kitchen on a previous day. Perhaps the copper pots arrival day. You have international influence, my friend. It's spooky.

(in a good way)

Sarah Louise said...

all this talk about coffee and copper pots reminds me of this song by the singing group "trout fishing in america"...all i want is a proper cup of coffee made in a proper copper coffee pot...

littlejennywren said...

My mum used to read me a story about a family of squirrels and a caraway cake. I loved that story and made the cake when I became a grown up. It still makes me feel cosy when I think about it. I don't like mixed peel though so perhaps I'll stick to my own recipe.

MsCellania said...

My favorite thing about Hobbits?

We have that pot, somewhere. It came with the man, and I've never asked it's history.

Suse said...

If you go to:


you can convert imperial measurements to metric.

Castor sugar is that fine white sugar used for baking.

Caraway seeds should be in supermarkets.

Mixed peel is harder to find as it is out of fashion, except at Christmas time when people are making puds. You could substitute mixed dried fruit I suppose, but it is the citrus tang of the mixed peel that goes so well with the aniseed flavour of the caraway seeds.

PS. I don't drink coffee. It's all for show (& tell). Mr Soup is the coffee drinker in our house.

Jeanne said...

Very clever segue, indeed! Lovely pot, too. Almost makes me wish I drank more coffee. (Love seed cake, though, and I get it all to myself when I make it, as nobody else likes it.)

Mama Lamb said...

I have wanted to try seed cake for ages... now I may just have to! Seed cake shows up in several of my favorite books, including Ms. Read.

And do you know about s'mores? A classic camping dessert we make with the graham crackers. Very American and sticky and gooey..but in childhood, a campout was not a campout without them!

Surfing Free said...

I agree LC - mixed peel is the tool of the devil!! I go to great lengths to pick it out of food if it has snuck in there. Blagh!

The Lord of the Rings books are sooo wonderful. That is how the English language is meant to be used :)