Saw a lovely looking poppy seed cake in Rachel Allen's "Bake" and thought I'd try it today. Firstly, 75g of poppy seeds seem a massive amount!!! The cake went well, although I wasn't sure it had risen as much as it should. That said, it didn't look too different from the picture in the book. The buttercream icing was interesting though - it's essentially a custard whisked into butter. My very helpful and talented sous chef made the custard for me, and the icing came out really well - it tastes very buttery, but creamy, not greasy. I find that when I'm making regular butter icing (butter and icing sugar), if it's too buttery, it just tastes wrong, but this icing here is great and much lighter. Although it was only when typing out the recipe this evening I realised that I had told Leigh to use 3 egg yolks, rather than the 2 of the recipe! Extra rich then!
Here is the cake uniced
And cut open to show the inside.
The poppy seeds give it a grainy texture and a very distinctive flavour, and the icing is a great complement to it.
I have also been spending time making more Caralot goodies this evening instead of ironing...this time, cushions!
I need to tell Jamie that his branding is definitely working - Zachary can recognise the colour and 'a' at 50 paces!
And finally, Zachary was taking some photos from the kitchen table while we were clearing up after dinner tonight - he got this great one of Leo enjoying an apple.
(Rachel Allen - Bake)
150g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g poppy seeds
125g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
175g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract (i did not use this as had some vanilla sugar in the cupboard - a jar of caster sugar with an old vanilla pod inside).
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Butter the sides of a 20cm spring-form/loose-bottomed tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well between each addition.
3. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add the poppy seeds and stir until combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, making a slight hollow in the centre with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes or until it is cooked in the centre and a skewer comes out clean.
5. Allow the cake to stand for 5 minutes before carefully removing it from the tin and transferring to a wire rack to cool.
6. Make the vanilla buttercream icing : Place the milk and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
7. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, then pour the milk onto the yolks, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low-medium heat, stirring all the time with a wooden or silicone spatula until it thickens and the mixture just coats the back of a spoon - this may take about 10 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to get too hot or it will scramble (if it does, quickly remove from the pan and pass through a sieve). Pour into a bowl or jug and allow to cool slightly.
8. Meanwhile, place the butter in a bowl (I did this in an electric food mixer) and whisk until soft and light.
9. Gradually add the almost cooled (not cold, but room temperature is fine) custard to the butter, whisking all the time until it is combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the icing and serve.