Saturday, June 15, 2013

Strawberry & Poppy Seed Cake


·        4 tbsp poppy seeds
·        200g unsalted butter , melted, plus a little extra for greasing
·        225g plain flour
·        1 tsp baking powder
·        4 large eggs , at room temperature
·        225g golden caster sugar
·        1 tsp vanilla extract

For the syrup and filling

·        zest and juice 1 large orange
·        100g golden caster sugar
·        1 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
·        170g pot full-fat Greek yogurt
·        500ml pot full-fat crème fraîche
·        350g strawberries , sliced, plus extra to serve (optional)

1.   Dry-fry the poppy seeds in a pan over a gentle heat for 2 mins or until aromatic. Let cool. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
2.   Mix together the flour and baking powder, then set aside. Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, whisk until thick, pale and foamy. Pour in the cooled butter and vanilla extract, and briefly whisk again. Sift in the flour mix, add 3 tbsp poppy seeds then, using a large metal spoon, carefully fold into the cake mixture until even. Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 25 mins or until golden and springy to the touch. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack.
3.   To make the syrup, warm the orange juice and 50g of the sugar in the microwave for 30 secs. Stir in the liqueur, if using. Using a large serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally to make a total of 4 circles. Brush the cut side and edges of each circle with plenty of the warm orange syrup.
4.   To make the filling, beat together the yogurt, crème fraîche, remaining sugar and orange zest until thick and spreadable. Stack the cakes with the creamy filling and strawberries, finishing with a creamy layer on top. Sprinkle the remaining poppy seeds over the top, then let the cake sit for 30 mins before slicing.

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