Bilbo’s seed cake with saffron
- 175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- Good pinch saffron strands
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Juice of 2-3 lemons (about 100ml), plus zest of 1 lemon
- 275g caster sugar
- 2 level tbsp rosemary leaves
- 175g self raising flour
- 50g plain flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2tbsp poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease a 24cm loaf tin and line the base with baking paper. Put the saffron in 1tbsp cold water. Leave to infuse for 20 mins.
For the drizzle, add the rosemary sprig to the lemon juice and gently stir in 100g of the sugar. Set aside.
Process the rosemary leaves with both types of flour, until everything is totally mixed together and the rosemary is blitzed into fine green flecks.
Beat the butter and remaining sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1tbsp of the rosemary flour with the last one, then mix in the saffron and water. Fold in the rest of the flour and the lemon zest.
Transfer to the tin, and bake for 45-55 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 mins and pierce the top all over with a skewer, to allow the drizzle to soak into the sponge.
Remove the rosemary sprig from the drizzle, stir in the poppy seeds and spoon over the cake. Leave to cool in the tin before serving.