Orange & Poppy Seed Cake

After the tasty success of the Herman the German Friendship Cake back in June I decided to experiment with different flavoured sourdough cakes. Orange and poppy seed was my favourite.01 cake pic pageThe sourdough cake starter is made from milk, flour and sugar and is fermented at room temperature. Although the idea of milk fermenting at room temperature for days is rather off putting, this cake is perfectly safe to eat.

From start to finish the Herman cake takes ten days and you are suppose to share three-quarters of the mix with friends to keep the friendship alive. As I wasn’t intending to share the sourdough mixture I cut it back to two days.

Day 1: Your starter is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well

Day 2: Take 2 cups of starter, stir well and add one cup sugar, 2 cups plain flour, 1/2t salt, 2/3 cup cooking oil, 2 eggs, 2t vanilla essence, the zest of two oranges, the flesh of one orange and ¼ cup poppy seeds. Put into a cake tin and set aside.

02 cake mixThis cake it decorated with candied orange peel. To make this you will need a citrus zester/stripper. It is a tool usually used by bartenders to make martini garnishes. Use it to create long strips of orange peel.

In a saucepan heat ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water. Bring to the boil, add the strips of orange peel and simmer for 15 minutes, you may need to add more water so you don’t end up with toffee.

03 ZestDecorate the top of your cake with the orange peel.

04 prebakeBake for 45 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius. Test if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked, otherwise bake it for a little longer.

05 cakeOutcome: This cake was delicious! Highly recommended.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup starter
  • 3 cup plain flour
  • 5 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2t vanilla essence
  • ½t salt
  • 3 oranges (Peel: 2 for zest, 1 for candied peel; flesh: 1 chopped, 2 to eat)
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • spray oil

Equipment: bowl, measuring cup, cake tin, greaseproof paper, saucepan, citrus zester/stripper

Steps:

  1. Feed your sourdough starter 1 cup of each flour, sugar and milk. Leave overnight.
  2. Mix 2 cups from day 1 with 1 cup sugar, 2 cups plain flour, salt, cooking oil, eggs, vanilla essence, the zest of two oranges, the flesh of one orange and ¼ cup poppy seeds.
  3. Line the base of a cake tin with greaseproof paper, spray the sides and fill with cake mix. Set aside.
  4. Use a citrus zester/stripper to create long strips of orange peel. Cook the peel in a simmering saucepan of ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water for 15 minutes (you may need to add more water).
  5. Decorate the cake with the orange peel and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
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