“’I don’t mind some cake – seed-cake, if you have any.’
‘Lots!’ Bilbo found himself answering, to his surprise; and he found himself scuttling off…to a pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.”
We are on the cusp of the New Year. It is a quiet time where the mornings are painted silver with mist and frost. It is the time to don thick scarf and gloves and venture out into the chill air. Let the frost bite at you lips and fingers. Let it get you moving. This time of year, more than any, is time for adventure. But as the hobbit well knew: before you step out of the door, you must make sure you’re fed and provisioned for your adventures.
As with traditional seed cake, these rustic yet ever so delicate treats are flavoured with caraway seeds. Wholemeal flour and root vegetables add a wholesome touch. The favourite of wizards and dwarves alike, they are the perfect thing to set you up for the long road ahead.
Bilbo’s Seed cakes:
80g soft light brown sugar
60ml groundnut oil
100g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
50g root vegetables: carrot or parsnip
3 tablespoons mixed seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and poppy seeds make a good mix)
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Begin by mixing the sugar, eggs and oil together until smooth and silky.
Whisk together the flour, bicarb and caraway seeds in another bowl. Add these to the wet ingredients and stir.
Grate the root vegetables with a fine grater or in a food processor. Add these to the mixture along with the milk and mix until combined and dropping off the spoon.
Grease a shallow 12-cup muffin tin with a layer of groundnut oil then dust with flour. Shake the tin so a fine layer of flour covers it, then tip out the excess.
Place a tablespoon of mixture into each cup of the tin. Top each with around half a teaspoon of the seed mix.
Bake for 15 minutes, until your kitchen is a-waft with the warm smell of baking.