Tuesday, 31 August 2010

ICCHFC: Week 49 - Poppy seed cake with vanilla butter icing

Hannah was back this week and gave us a choice of:
  • Poppy seed cake with vanilla butter icing
  • Hazelnut and chocolate cake
  • Chocolate and orange truffle cake
Needless to say the poppy seed was by far the most interesting option and was duly voted for.
This cake is only flavoured with poppy seeds and their flavour, whilst distinctive, is subtle. The cake was quite dense and the butter cream was an essential addition. I'm not sure anyone particularly loved it, but then no-one hated it. I don't think anyone would rush to bake it again. An unremarkable cake.

It must be noted that Hannah's version looked exactly like the picture in the recipe!

Hannah's Poppy seed cake (a Rachel Allen recipe as featured on the Good Food Channel)

150g butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
100g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
75g poppy seeds
For the vanilla buttercream icing:
75g butter, softened
125g icing sugar, sifted
½tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Butter the sides of a 20cm cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well between each addition.
3. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add the poppy seeds and stir until well combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, making a slight hollow in the centre with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until it is cooked in the centre and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to stand for five minutes before carefully removing it from the tin and transferring it to a wire rack to cool.
For the buttercream icing
6. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter until pale and soft, beat in the icing sugar and vanilla extract.
7. When the cake is cool, split it in half using a long-bladed serrated knife. Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate and spread over two generous tablespoons of the vanilla buttercream, then place the other half of the cake on top. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides with a palette knife or table knife. The cake can also be kept whole, with the icing spread over the top and sides.

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