from one generation to the next
Years ago when I was dabbling in my first food business, I would regularly take myself away at weekends to cooking schools hoping for inspiration. My absolute all time favourite was in country Victoria at a foodie retreat run by two of the most inspiring women I have had the privilege to meet. Each has since taken separate paths, but techniques I learned there I use daily and recipes I collected there have become favourites. Marieke’s luscious orange poppy seed cake is a wonderful combination of sharp citrus tang and textural crunch. It cuts without crumbling, and is incredibly moist.
200g sour cream
3 eggs separated
200g castor sugar
1 orange, zest only
200g poppy seeds
1 3/4 cups SR flour
2 teaspoons castor sugar extra
3/4 cup castor sugar
Preheat oven to 160C. Thoroughly and generously grease a kugelhopf tin.
Melt the butter over a low heat then set aside to cool. Beat the sour cream, castor sugar, egg yolks orange zest and melted butter until thick.
Grind the poppy seeds then stir them into the butter mixture with the sifted flour.
Whisk the egg whites into softpeaks then beat in 1 teaspoon of sugar to stabilise them.
Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten the mixture then fold in the remaining 2/3.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface.
Bake at 160C fan forced oven until firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 mins in the tin. Pierce the cake in several places with a fine skewer, then pour the hot syrup over the cake in the tin.
The syrup will absorb into the cake in about 5 minutes. Turn the cake out of the tin and onto a large plate without delay. Arrange the candied zest on top then allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container.
Using a vegetable peeler or zesting tool, remove the zest, no pith, from the oranges and lemons. If you used a peeler test your knife skills and cur the zest into julienne.
Squeeze the juice from the fruit.
In a small pan, bring the juice, sugar and zest to the boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Strain the syrup, reserve the zest for decoration.