All that talk of the perfect tea accompaniment in the last post reminded me that Dom's monthly Random Recipe challenge was coming to round-up! Oh dear ... must make more sweets for tea, but first a short update. I have been sooo good on my diet, everyone! I am down just over 20 pounds and am still motivated to lose another 20 ... these will be the hard ones, so I have to be savvy about the sweets that I make.
I went looking through the Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook, as it has three or four separate 'tea menus' - this is the little teacake that I happened on when I'd pinched the section of book devoted to tea together and poked a fingernail into the pages. It is slotted as an old-fashioned cake to be served with a menu of cucumber and mint sandwiches,currant cream scones, walnut tartlets with fruit curd, cocoa meringue kisses, and jasmine and gunpowder tea. Pretty swanky, huh?
I was happy that this particular tea cake does not have the added layer of sweet icing or jam or any other embellishment - just a sifting of confectioner's sugar atop. Yes, it has butter and sugar and liquor, but one can slice the loaf thinly and have a treat without breaking the calorie counter for the day ...
This book, incidentally, is one of the prettiest cookbooks I've ever seen. I am usually a fanatic about having photos of the finished dish , but I'm okay with this book having the photos at the heading of each menu because in between are the most beautiful graphics of Victorian art, media ads for Victorian products like tea, baking soda, canned goods, botanical drawings, and all sorts of vintage graphics. It's just lovely - look! It's worthy of a quiet page-turning look over a cup of tea and a slice of seed cake! Think I'll do that right now ... see you!
So ... the recipe is easy, easy, easy!
Caraway Seed Cake
a Crab Tree & Evelyn Cookbook recipe
1 ⅓ c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ c. sugar plus 2 more tbsp. for whipping egg whites
4 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp. whiskey (I used a blended whisky)
3 tbsp. caraway seeds (yes, use that amount)
Powdered sugar for dusting the cake top
Making the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch spring form tube pan or a large loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and light grease that as well.
- Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a deep mixing bowl, whip the butter and sugar until it is light and creamy.
- Add the egg yolks and whiskey. Continue to beat until smooth and creamy yellow.
- Gradually add the flour mix and caraway seeds, mixing until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, begin to whip the egg whites to a foam, slowly add the other 2 tbsp. of sugar, whipping until stiff peaks form.
- Mix ⅓ of the meringue into the cake batter to loosen the batter somewhat.
- Fold in the rest of the egg white meringue very gently. Turn the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes in the center of the pre-heated oven. The cake will begin to pull away from the pan sides and be golden on top.
- Cool the cake for ten minutes and then flip it out of the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and plate on a lovely plate or cake stand.
- When the cake is completely cooled, dust the top with the powdered sugar and serve thinly sliced with a cup of hot tea.