I wanted to make a poppy-seed pie to bring to my grandmothers when I visited. Day went by and finally it was 10 p.m. when I finally took my apron. Unfortunately, I realised I had run out of flour. I had a little stash in a separate jar, but it was definitely not enough to make a pie. A little adjustment needed to be done, obviously. I sticked to poppy seeds, but instad of a pie decided to make a cake we used to bake a lot when I was younger because it is really easy, fast and delicious. It is whipped up by the time the oven preheats.
It is a modification of a sponge cake, only I substituted part of the flour with poppy seeds and added yoghurt instead of butter or milk, which made the cake really soft and moist. Then I covered it with a thin layer of homemade strawberry jam which added such a nice freshness to the cake and topped everything with chocolate glaze. It was really delicious, I took myself a tiny bit to try. It has all of the things that is in my opinion a perfect combination for a cake – a mild soft sponge base, fresh sourish kick frm the jam and soft sweet and rich chocolate layer. So there you go, simple and easy and it is likely you already have the ingredients in your pantry. Make it on a day you are in a rush, but don’t feel like skipping a dessert.
preparation time: about 20 minutes
baking time: 25 minutes, 180°C (350 F)
baking pan size: 22×30 cm (8,6×12 in)
Ingredients for the batter:
4 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
160 g granulated white sugar
150 g all-purpose flour
70 g poppy seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
160 ml yoghurt
4 – 5 Tbsp jam of your choice
Ingredients for the glaze:
50 g butter
160 g semi sweet chocolate
2 Tbsp milk or cream
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 F).
2. Separate the eggs and using an electric mixer whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt into stiff peaks.
3. In a separate bowl using mixer with the same attachments, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until their volume increases, sugar melts and the mixture looks pale yellow and smooth (for about 4 minutes).
4. Combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and cinnamon and quickly mix them together with a spoon.
5. Add flour mixture and yoghurt to the egg yolks mixed with sugar alternating dry (flour mixture) and wet ingredients (yoghurt). Start by adding a third of dry mixture, mix it in, than add half of yoghurt, mix it in and so on. Finish by adding the final third of dry mixure and mix everything shortly just until everything is combined.
6. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated and gently, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the mixture. Don’t overmix, combine just enough to incorporate the egg whites into the batter.
7. Pour the mixture into a prepared baking pan covered with parchment paper and put it in the preheated oven. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes. Cake will be brownish on top and a tootpick or knife inserted in the middle will come out clean.
8. While the cake bakes, take the jam out and let it sit in room temperature because it will be easier to spread on the cake later. Make the glaze: put the butter in a small saucepan and let it slowly melt on medium low heat. When it starts to melt (don’t let it boil, be careful not to burn it), add chocolate and milk or cream. I always use chocolate in bars because that’s what we have here, but use whatever melting chocolate you have, and whichever flavour you prefer – semi sweet, dark, milk… Stir constantly and as soon as the chocolate melts, remove from the heat.
9. Let the cake rest for about 5 minutes, but it does not have to cool down completely. I flipped it upside down and took the parchment paper out because I wanted the top a smooth and narrow top, but you don’t have to do that. Just cover the top with a nice layer of jam and, while it is still warm, pour the glaze on top and smooth it with a spatula.
10. Let the glaze set or dig right in. Enjoy with a glass of milk or coffee.