Monday, March 11, 2013

Irish Tea Time Seed Cake...

When it comes to traditional Irish baking the only thing I ever seem to hear about in North America is Irish Soda Bread. Now I love Irish Soda Bread as much ad the next person but there’s way more to Irish baking then just that! So forget all your Soda bread recipes today and make this delicious tea cake instead. Seed cake as it’s known utilizes one ingredient that I would never have thought ot put into a sweet dessert, caraway. In fact I rarely use Caraway anyway even though I like it, it just never seems to feature in anything I make, so I was particularly interested to see how this cake would turn out.

Seed Cake is apparently a long standing feature of Irish baking and is - or was - particularly common in rural and farming communities. It’s perfect for tea time because it’s packed with flavor, yet it’s light, moist and only mildly sweet. Though you could also serve It for a light dessert perhaps alongside a scoop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream. However you decide to serve it, you must give this cake a try, trust me when I say that the caraway lends a really magical element to the cakes complexity. In fact I enjoyed the flavor combination so much I think I just might use caraway in my baking more often.

Irish Tea Time Seed Cake 

1 C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
½ C Earth Balance slightly melted
½ C Raw Sugar + ½ Tbsp
2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed - Mixed with 6 heaping Tbsp Water until frothy
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Ground Caraway + 1 tsp
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon + ½  tsp
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg + 1/4 tsp
3 Tbsp - 1/4 C Unsweetened Almond Milk (Depending on consistency)

- Preheat the Oven to 350'F

- In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and spiced together.

- In a separate bowl cream the Earth Balance and sugar using an electric hand mixer on high-speed. Once creamed beat in the flax seed/water mixture.

- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.

- Add three Tbsp of Almond Milk to make a smooth consistent batter. It shouldn’t be wet, but it shouldn’t be too dry either. If it looks a little stiff add additional almond milk up to 1/4 C.

- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan or small cake pan. Then evenly sprinkle ½ Tbsp of sugar, along with 1 tsp of caraway, ½ tsp of cinnamon , and 1/4 tsp nutmeg over the top.

- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry and the top is a nice golden color.

- Enjoy with tea in the afternoon or as a dessert after an Irish inspired dinner!

*** Note - Traditionally Seed Cakes contain whole Caraway seeds, both in the cake and on top of the cake. I however did not have whole Caraway seeds just ground. If you do have whole Caraway seeds or would prefer to make it with them use roughly 1 Tbsp of Whole Seeds in the cake with another ½ Tbsp of seeds sprinkled over top. Or more or less depending on how you feel about Caraway.***

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