Hobbit Food

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

MARTIN FREEMAN as Bilbo Baggins in New Line Cinemas and MGM's fantasy adventure THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

I am definitely more Hobbit-like than Elfish. I much prefer sitting and eating in front of a nice warm fire, than running around outdoors in the cold and wet. I’ve just watched the latest trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – with Martin Freeman as Biblo Baggins. Having watched him play the quintessential English-man, Arthur Dent in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I think he’s going to make the perfect Hobbit.

The trailer gives you a glimpse of the first scene in the book where the thirteen dwarfs bombard Biblo’s small hobbit hole and demand to be fed before embarking on their great journed to defeat the dragon, Smaug.

Dwarves, like hobbits, like their tea and cake.

“Some called for ale, and some for porter, and one for coffee, and all of them for cakes . . . A big jug of coffee had just been set in the hearth, the seed-cakes were gone, and the dwarves were starting on a round of buttered scones . . . ‘And raspberry jam and apple-tart,’ said Bifur. ‘And mince-pies and cheese,’ said Bofur. ‘And pork-pie and salad,’ said Bombur. ‘And more cakes — and ale — and coffee, if you don’t mind,’ called the other dwarves through the door. ‘Put on a few eggs, there’s a good fellow!’ Gandalf called after him, as the hobbit stumped off to the pantries. ‘And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles!’ (The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien)

Hobbits know how to put on a spread. I particularly like the idea of their ‘second breakfast’ and elevenses. They always seem to have a larder full of delicious cakes ready and waiting for guests and the occassional wizard.

So, I’ve done a twist on the traditional Hobbit seed cake below, with a bit of a decadent and festive twist. This cake smells delicious as it is cooking away. You could make this to freeze…just in case any pesky dwarfs or wizards turn up on your doorstep in the New Year. It also made a great base for a rich trifle!

Seedy Cake Recipe
I adapted this from Mrs Beeton’s Very Good Seed Cake recipe. The original Seed Cake uses caraway seeds which have a musky sweet flavour, but I wanted to be able to use this cake in trifle, so replaced it with poppy seeds and added in a sprinkling of mince-meat.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins - image from theiapolis.com

8oz / 220g butter
10oz / 300g self raising flour
8oz / 220g caster sugar
2 oz /100g ground almonds
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
4 eggs
100 ml brandy
Orange zest
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp nutmeg
40z/ 110g mincemeat

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until your mixture becomes a pale colour and goes creamy.

2. Drop in the beaten eggs a spoon at a time (this will stop it from curdling).

3. Fold in the flour, poppy seeds and ground almonds.

5. Gradually add in the brandy until your mixture drops from your spoon.

6. Bake for around 40 minutes at 160C/gas mark 3.

Gluten & RSA (Refined Sugar Free) Seed Cake Recipe

1-1/2 cups coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup xylitol
1 tsp xanthum gum
½ cup organic butter softened or organic coconut oil
3 eggs
½ cup natural yogurt
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp grated lemon zest

1. Cream the coconut oil and xylitol together.

2. Add in the beaten eggs, yoghurt, vanilla, poppy seeds and lemon zest

3. Fold in the flour, xanthum gum, baking powder and poppy seeds.

5. Gradually add in the coconut milk until your mixture resembles soft peanut butter.

6. Bake for around 40 minutes at 160C/gas mark 3.

Results: Really lemony, like eating a lemon meringue crust. Needs a bit of lemon flavoured yoghurt on the side, however.

The Hobbit has been translated all over the world – here are some great covers from a few of them.

The Hobbit - Tove Jansson (image from Smaug Fanlisting)
Bilbo (Tove Jansson) - Image from - http://bibliotekstipset.wordpress.com
Tolkien illustrated book cover - image from Eye Candy for Bibliophiles.

Hobbit front cover from 1999 – Image from fan.theonering.net

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Bravo to you for having two recipes here, one being gluten free. The cake does look like it would be wonderful with tea. The blend of almonds, poppy seeds and brandy does make me want to try it-yum! I like the name and how you tied this in to the Hobbits.
    Have a wonderful New Years, glad to have you as a friend going into 2012!

  2. Thanks Tina. Have a wonderful New Year’s celebration.

  3. kristy says:

    Jules, the cake looks perfect for tea time. Kudos!

  4. Great photos. Love poppy seeds but tend to save them for savouries. Bookmarking this to try!

  5. This looks lovely. Good to know it can be used in a trifle if you want to. I’m not that keen on caraway so I know I can replace it with poppy seeds for this!

  6. Cucina49 says:

    It’s actually really hard to match champagne with cake, but you’ve got a good one here! Happy new year to you and yours and it was so much fun to look at all the Hobbit artwork!

  7. This sounds and looks truly delicious. I’ve no doubt that any hobbit would love to sit down to a slice of this seed cake, myself included!

  8. Baker Street says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing two recipes! I would love to try the gluten free version. Happy New Year to you and yours! xx

  9. Dani says:

    Looks fabulous! Friends will be visiting this weekend, so this will be perfect for teatime!

  10. magicofspice says:

    The Hobbit was my children’s favorite book when they were younger…so fun! The cake looks wonderful and so moist🙂
    Happy 2012!

  11. Love it – both the cake and the fact that you love Martin Freeman and the Hobbit😀

    Choc Chip Uru

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