Thursday, August 31, 2006

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

When I came across this recipe in Nick Malgieri's Perfect Cakes, I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to utilize my leftover sour cream (from the Sour Cream Ganache Cake I made earlier and have not posted yet.) Halfway into preparation, I noticed that my small bottle of poppy seeds was almost empty. As stopping was not an option at that point, this instance of the orange poppy seed cake ended up having less than half the amount of poppy seeds the recipe indicated. Surprisingly though, it was still perfect -- so much so that I immediately replenished my stocks of poppy seeds just to make it again. I couldn't yet but when I do, I'll be sure to use the right amount of poppy seeds to maximize the crunch at every moist orangey bite.

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 8 oz softened butter
  • 1 3/4 c sugar (divided)
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 c poppy seeds
  • 2 tbs orange zest
  • 3/4 c orange juice
Grease a 9" springform pan. Line the bottom with greased wax paper cut to size. Preheat your oven to 350F.

Combine and mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside. Beat the butter and 1 c of the sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat the batter until it is smooth after each addition. Decrease mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides with a spatula. Now add the sour cream followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Beat until smooth. Fold in the poppy seeds. Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To prepare the syrup, combine orange juice, zest and 3/4 c sugar in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Strain the zest (I didn't) and pour into a measuring cup.

After the cake is baked, place it on a jelly-roll pan. Poke about 20 holes into the cake with a skewer. Gradually pour or spoon the syrup over the top of the cake until it is absorbed. Collect the leaking syrup (if any) and spoon back over the cake. Transfer the cake to a rack and let it cool it. Remove the sides of the springform pan, transfer the cake to a serving plate and remove the wax paper underneath.