Poppy Seed Cake

11 Jan

I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I decided I wanted to make this cake. Its seemed like a great idea when I happened across a photo of it and then it seemed like sort of a great idea when I saw the recipe in Lithuanian. And then breadcrumbs? Soo…I began to doubt.

But I had already committed myself to $7 worth of poppy seeds. I’ll be honest, there were moments of paralyzing baking fear: will this always smell like a bagel? But again, dear friends, I say to you carry on! No, you will not detect any breadcrumbs. No, your cake only looks dry right out of the oven. Yes, it will be sweet enough. Yes, you will be finding errant poppy seeds around your kitchen for at least a month. And no, it will not always smell like a bagel.

Poppy Seed Cake

Adapted from Išbandyti receptai

Printable Recipe

2 cups poppy seeds

2 1/2 cups boiling water

2 1/4 cups sugar, divided

9 eggs, separated

1 cup bread crumbs (I made my own in the food processor, but store bought works just as well.)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

Wash the poppy seeds in a colander lined with cheesecloth with cool water. Transfer the seeds to a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let soak overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 10″-11″ springform pan. Drain the water from the poppy seeds using cheesecloth and transfer the seeds to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Grind the seeds until they are a rough paste.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks and 1 3/4 cups sugar until the mixture is very pale. Gently stir in the poppy seed paste, bread crumbs, cinnamon, and salt to the egg yolks. Very carefully add in the egg whites, folding gently without deflating the egg whites until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out dry.

While the cake is cooling, heat the heavy cream and 1 1/4 cups sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat until it reaches a boil. Let boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally. Once the cream has taken on a golden-ish color, ladle out about two cups worth of the hot mixture and carefully spoon or pour it over the cake. Allow time for it to soak in completely. Repeat until all two cups have been absorbed.

Continue boiling the remaining cream and sugar mixture until it becomes a thick caramel. Be patient, this will take about 20 minutes more on high heat.

Once the cream has reached the right consistency (like condensed milk) and has a caramelly color, pour the caramel over the top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate (ideally) 6 hours or 4 if you just can’t wait any longer.


One Response to “Poppy Seed Cake”

  1. Wayne Colvin January 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM #

    Hi Rachel, I hope you are doing well…and I hope they don’t give you any random drug test

    anytime soon.


    The cake looks really good, but I’m gonna try out the red velvet brownies first!

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