Many many years ago, when Strawberry Fair in Cambridge was still worth visiting, I sold cakes from the back of my car, this orange & poppy seed cake was probably the most popular. Readers of my blog will know I rely on the peel of oranges to provide flavour and this cake is no exception.
|Welcome Barbados, country No 99!|
200g of unsalted butter
200g of caster sugar
3 medium eggs, weighing roughly 200g in their shells
150g of ground almonds
100g of poppy seeds
110g of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
The peel of 2 medium sized oranges
Heat the oven to 180C and line 2 small loaf tins (16cm by 10cm) with baking parchment.
Begin by grinding the thinly pared rind of the oranges in the sugar in a food processor. Add the salt, and the butter and process until you have a light fluffy mixture, add the eggs, one at a time and process in between. I find you need to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl to ensure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the poppy seeds, ground almonds, flour and baking powder and process just until the batter comes together into a cohesive mix. Divide the mix between the two lined loaf tins and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out cleanly when pushed into the middle of the cake.
I like the thin glaze of an orange icing on this cake and I mix 100g of icing sugar with enough orange juice to make a thin icing, I pour it over while the cakes are still warm having taken them out of the loaf tins. Return them to the oven for 10 minutes so that the icing can dry out.
You can use fewer poppy seeds than my recipe states, personally I like the crunch of the seeds and the dramatic colour they give.