I’m currently reading Jane Eyre for what must be the fourth time. I do love a bit of classic English Lit. I’m at the part where the compassionate headmistress, Miss Temple, shares a seed cake with the forlorn Jane and her ill-fated best friend, Helen Burns. Seed cake – I remember when I first heard the term. It was 1989 and Kate Bush had just released “The Sensual World.”
Mmm, yes, Then I’d taken the kiss of seed cake back from his mouth, going deep South, go down, mmm, yes…
Victorian Seed cake conjures images of a dense cake chocked full of assorted seeds and sticky with honeyed syrup. How disheartening to discover the “seeds” in the classic British cake are a meager smattering of caraway. Tasty, I’m sure, but falling short of my imaginings.
So, from my culinary fantasies to your mouth, my modern interpretation of seed cake – mmm, yes.
Modern Seed Cake
- Cake Ingredients
- ¼ cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
- ¼ cup Sunflower seeds, toasted
- ¼ cup Poppy seeds, toasted
- ¼ cup Flax seeds, toasted
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup half & half, cream, or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon brandy
- 1/3 cup honey
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon brandy
Honey Glaze Ingredients
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter and flour bundt pan. Whisk together pepitas, sunflower, poppy and flax seeds; set aside. Whisk together flour, almond flour, salt, cream of tartar, and allspice; set aside.
- Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in half & half. Add lemon zest and brandy and beat until blended. Fold in flour mixture until combined. Fold in seed mixture until mixed and scrape into pan.
- Bake cake 40-50 minutes until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, heat together honey, brown sugar, butter and brandy until bubbly. Poke cake all over with skewer and pour honey glaze over cake. Let cake cool completely and remove from pan.