Totally true!!! Besides the previous Donna Hay's banana cake that I have baked, this is another cake recipe from the book, Modern Classics Book Two by Donna Hay that I would highly recommend.
Can I bake this recipe with or without poppy seeds? Yes, you can... I can see why you ask this question if you are a Singaporean or living in Singapore.
When I was living in Singapore, I have never seen, hear or taste any orange poppy seed cake before. It is true! Apparently, poppy seeds are classified as prohibited goods by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) due to its subtle opium content. After having the first taste of orange poppy cake or any poppy seed related bakes, I tend to appreciate these bakes very well. I wonder if the subtle opium content plays a part in my appreciation... hmmm... With the effect of opium or not, I would say that the nice nutty taste and texture of poppy seeds kind of complement an orange cake very well.
Now, back to the question... Can I bake this recipe with any poppy seeds? Yes, you can... but I reckon that this all-time favourite classic is never the same without any poppy seeds. My son loves this cake with many poppy seeds and the imaginative him said that this cake is so yummy that many "ants" are also loving it... LOL!
My Donna Hay-loving colleague who has been using this recipe for countless time and said to me that this recipe is very good being fail-proof. Her orange poppy seed cakes made with this recipe are always extremely moist, buttery and fully packed with orange flavours and poppy-nutty crunch... And, mine too!
Hope that my photo can convinced you that this is a good recipe and a good cake too...
|The always moist and delicious orange poppy seed cake|
|If I can count the number of these poppy seeds, my eyes will definitely go cuckoo!|
|Make sure that the butter is very soft if using a spoon to mix the cake batter.|
|... and poppy seeds milk. Mix, mix, mix and mix!|
|Notice that the cake doesn't brown a lot on its surface?|
|This very-orange syrup is a must to complete this cake.|
|Pour syrup over hot cake and wait slightly for it to absorb.|
|It can be served either warm or cold, immediately or later...|
|I want mine NOW with extra syrup!!!|
Here's the recipe from the book, Modern Classics Book Two by Donna Hay
(with modification in blue)
1/3 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
200g butter, softened
1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
3/4 cup (or 150g) caster (superfine) sugar
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
(I used tetra packed ones with 100% juice with no added sugar)
1 cup sugar
(reduced to 100g)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
(I used 300 ml)
1/2 cup shredded orange rind
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) or 150°C fan forced. Place the poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a wooden spoon) and beat until light and creamy.
Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and add the orange juice and poppy seed and milk mixture. Stir to combine and spoon into a 20cm (8 in) round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 55-60 mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Note: I baked mine at 150°C fan forced for 55 mins.
While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place the sugar, orange juice and orange rind in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 5-6 mins or until syrupy. Note: I cooked mine for more than 20 mins until the orange rinds look semi-translucent.
Pour half of the hot syrup over the hot cake. To serve, cut the warm or cold cake into wedges and pour over the remaining syrup.
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