I ate two slices before I could slow down and focus on adjectives, rather than just scarfing down the tasty, tasty morsels.
The brandy and spices are there, but not in a boozy, overwhelming way. In fact, I’d say it has only the good taste of brandy, without the kick. The cake itself is soft and dense, with only the slightest hint of crunch on the outside crust, and imparted by the seeds. Although it would be good with honey or jam, I found that the seedcake itself was good enough to enjoy plain, or with a smidge of butter alongside some afternoon tea.
Recipe for Seedcake
Like most of my recipes, I based this on a traditional recipe from an old cookbook. In this case, it’s #1776, taken from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861.
- 1/2 lb. of butter (2 sticks)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground mace
- 1 Tbs seeds (caraway is traditional, but I like poppy seeds)
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 cups flour
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the spices and seeds, and beat to combine. Beat the butter to a cream,; dredge in the flour; add the sugar, mace, nutmeg, and seeds, and mix these ingredients well together. Whisk the eggs and stir them into the brandy, and beat into the buttery mixture. Gradually add the flour, stirring until everything is mixed together completely. Pour this thick batter into a tin lined with buttered paper, and bake it at 350F for 1 hour.