Ellen's Poppy Seed Cake with
For the cake:
1 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
For the Lemon Curd:
Grated zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
Fresh berries and mint sprigs
For the cake: Soak the poppy seeds in the milk overnight.
Heat the oven
to 375 degrees F. and generously better and flour a 9-inch (10-cup) Bundt
an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add
the eggs one at a time,
beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and
the milk along with the poppy seeds.
Sift together the flour, baking powder,
salt and orange zest; add this to the butter and
sugar mixture, blending well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the
cake springs back
when you press it lightly, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack about 10
utes, then take the cake out of the can and cool completely on the rack.
For the lemon curd: In a stainless steel bowl whisk together
zest, juice, eggs, yolks and sugar. Put the bowl over a pot of simmering -
boiling - water to form a double boiler and cook, whisking constantly.
until the mixture
becomes thick, translucent and a little 'wobbly'. Remove
the pan from heat and strain the
mixture into a bowl. Whisk in the butter
until it is completely incorporated. Chill
Just before serving: Whip the cream until it forms soft
peaks. Fold a
of the whipped cream into the lemon curd to lighten it, and then
in the rest.
To serve: Slice the cake and top each slice with a generous
lemon curd. Decorate with fresh berries and a mint sprig.
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