Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Poppyseed Cake With Orange Curd Filling

File this under: Tastes better than it looks."

I ended up writing. "You Did It" because "Congratulations" wouldn't fit. Danny thought it should say, "Thumbs Pointing At Self", but again, space was limited.

This is the second time I've used a variation of the fluffy white frosting from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, and I still can't decide if I like it. There's something vaguely marshmallow Fluff-ish about it. Anyway, the recipient was pleased with it which is, what counts, I suppose.

The curd colour came up a bit brown as I used a mixture of Morro, Cara Cara and navel oranges (that was what I had). Against the grey looking cake it was actually rather attractive, but these photographs don't do a very good job conveying that.

For the cake:

Soak 1/3 cup poppyseeds in 1/2 cup water for 2 hours, then drain well.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups vanilla sugar
The drained poppyseeds
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
4 egg whites (1/2 cup total) stiffly beaten (reserve yolks for curd)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 9 inch pans.

Cream together flour and sugar until light. Beat in poppyseeds. Sift together dry ingredients and add, a;ternating with water. Carefully fold in egg whites.

Gently put into pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until cakes test done. Cool 15 minutes in pan on rack, then cool completely on rack. Make curd.

For the curd:

Combine in pan:

1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter

Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. When mixture reaches boil, remove from heat. With a ladle, remove about 1/2 a cup to a bowl and one at a time, beat in the egg yolks. Slowly return to pan and return to heat. Cook 1 minute longer until thickened. Strain into a bowl through a sieve to catch any "cooked" bits. Cool before using.

For the frosting:

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small, heavy pan bring sugar, water and cream of tartar to a boil over medium heat. Keep covered first three minutes. Remove lid, DO NOT STIR. When a candy thermometer reaches 242 degrees F. remove and SLOWLY, in a very thin stream, beat into the egg whites and add vanilla. Beat with hand mixer until frosting holds shape. Spread immediately.

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