Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Orange Poppy Seed Tea Cakes

There has always been a dilemma when it comes to what classifies as a cake, muffin, bread or scone.  Each one of these connotates a specific texture in each person's mind.  So before I lead you down the wrong path with the name of this post, I will be very specific regarding the texture of this baked good.

It is very dense, much like a scone.  The batter is very thick and has the same leavener ratio to flour as a lot of cookie recipes.  This is not a fluffy light cake by any stretch of the imagination.

The citrus flavors in the cake are very subtle which pairs nicely with the poppy seeds.  I found that with the light glaze, that there is enough flavor even though the recipe suggests  using butter or jam to spread on the split cakes.  

I used dariole molds to bake these in.  It gives the cakes a nice tall shape as you can see, however, it does take some time to prepare the molds prior to baking. This recipe makes 8 cakes.

Orange Poppy Seed Tea Cakes
adapted from Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book

1 tsp lemon juice
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tbs orange juice (cake)
grated rind of 1 1/2 oranges
1 1/2 tbs poppy seeds
1/4 cup plus 1 tbs vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs melted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs orange juice (icing)

Prepare muffin pans by lining with paper cases or greasing the cups with butter.  If using molds, butter all insides and then line the inside edge with parchment paper.

Measure out the flour in a small bowl.  Remove 1/4 cup and 2 tbs of flour and place in another small bowl and set aside to reserve for later.

In a larger bowl, sift together the large amount of the flour and the baking powder. Then stir in the sugar.  Make a well in the center of the ingredients.

For the wet ingredients, mix together butter, oil, poppy seeds, lemon rind, lemon juice, orange rind and 2 tbs of orange juice.  Beat in egg for 30 seconds, then add the other egg, beating 30 seconds after addition.

Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the flour mixture and stir until no dry streaks remain.  Let batter rest for 1 hour.  Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

After the batter rests, fold in reserved flour mixture.  Your batter will be quite lumpy.  Fill the muffin cups or molds 3/4 full, making sure batter is even. Place pan in oven and let bake for about 25 minutes.  Cakes are done when they have risen and are golden on the top.

Remove pan from oven and let cool in pan for a few minutes.  Then transfer to rack to finish cooling.

In the meantime, icing can be made.  Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl. Stir in orange juice and add a small quantity of water to get to the correct consistency.  Then drizzle over cooled cakes.

                            **LAST YEAR: Fried Peach Pies**