This recipe is inspired by a good friend in Ireland. Actually she was my former boss. I have to hand it to her in terms of providing excellent office perks. Every day at 10:30 or 11:00 we'd break for tea and she would often bring in some of her own home baking to share. This was one of my favourites, and something that I had never encountered in North America. Seed Cake is quite popular in England and Ireland and the recipe goes back as far as Mrs. Beeton's original cookbook. If you like caraway you'll love this.
My friend told me to use a simple Madeira recipe and simply add Caraway seeds. Madeira cake is not something very popular in North America but you can find lots of recipes online. It's similar to a pound cake, although a bit lighter in texture. Some recipes call for madeira, some do not. I ended up combining a few versions.
Here's what I did:
6 oz butter
6 oz granulated sugar
8 oz all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla (this is what I used on this occasion but you could also use zest + juice of one lemon instead for a lemony version)
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a spoon full of the dry ingredient mixture with each egg. Add remaining flour mixture and once fully combined add the vanilla (or lemon flavouring) and fold in the caraway seeds. Bake in a loaf tin at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Perfect with tea at the office or at home. Enjoy!