Recipes | Orlando Murrin's seed cake


Orlando Murrin's seed cake

If you're thinking of baking something for teatime today try this traditional English caraway seed cake from cookery writer Orlando Murrin.

Interestingly Orlando's version differs from the original which according to the site Gode Cookery was made with yeast and ale*. His is more like a madeira cake or pound cake, flavoured with citrus and much more to contemporary tastes. It would be perfect with a cup of oolong tea or a glass of Rainwater madeira

Orlando Murrin's Seed Cake

160g/6oz softened butter, if using unsalted add a pinch of salt
190g/7oz golden caster sugar, plus 1tbsp extra to glaze
1/2tsp vanilla extract
a little lemon and orange zest finely grated
3 large eggs, separated
225g/8oz self raising flour
1 tbsp caraway seeds
150g carton of natural yogurt

21cm (7inch) cake tin, loose bottomed, lined with baking paper (e.g Bake-o-Glide)

Heat oven to 170°C/150°C fan.

Cream butter with sugar, vanilla and citrus zest. Beat in egg yolks. Mix in half the flour and half the yogurt, then the remaining half of each and the caraway seeds, until combined. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and fold in – be patient as the cake mixture is stiff. Turn into the tin and smooth top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining caster sugar, which will form a thin sugar crust.

Bake for about an hour, until a skewer comes out clean, checking after 45 minutes and covering with foil if necessary to prevent it from becoming too brown. It is a characteristic of this cake to rise to a peak and crack.

*There's also some interesting speculation on its origins on the blog Baking for Britain.

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