Ever heard of pound cake? Well if you haven't, here's some background. It originated in Europe in the 18th century and got it's name from the weight of the ingredients used. Traditional pound cake used a pound each of flour, eggs, butter and sugar. If you tried to make that today you'd end up with a lot of cake! Modern recipes have reduced the quantity to serve one standard loaf but you will also find that the ratio has been slightly altered as well. These days most pound cakes tend to be less dense and have an indulgent buttery flavour. It's still one of the most simple cake recipes around.
This is sort of a pound cake come syrup cake. I've always liked pound cake because of it's tight crumb texture. For me it's the perfect half point between a sponge cake and a banana bread sort of texture. Pound cake on it's own is a bit boring though. Here I've flavoured it with some orange zest and juice. I added in the poppy seeds for some crunch and also a bit of colour contrast.
All in all it's still a fairly simple recipe that doesn't take too long to whip up. The cake is beautifully scented with orange and has the most buttery flavour. It goes perfectly with a cuppa for afternoon tea!
Orange and Poppy Syrup Loaf
Makes 1 Loaf, 12-14 slices
3 Oranges, zest and juice
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbs poppy seeds
170g unsalted butter at room temperature
300g granulated sugar
3 large eggs
5 tablespoons orange juice
250g sour cream
1/2 cup orange juice (from 3 oranges above)
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease and line a 2L loaf tin.
First, zest and juice your 3 oranges. The juice will be used in both the cake batter and the syrup later on. Set zest and juice aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds and salt. Set dry ingredients aside.
In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add in the all the orange zest, 5 tablespoons of the orange juice and your sour cream. Mix until combined.
Add you dry ingredients to your wet and mix until combined. You should be left with a relativity thick batter.
Pour batter into your tin and spread out evenly using a knife. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake should have a light brown colour to it.
In the last minutes of baking, make your syrup. In a small saucepan add half a cup of your orange juice and half a cup of sugar. Place on medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has turned syrupy.
By this time the cake should be done. Remove from oven and poke holes into the cake using a long skewer. Pour the hot syrup over the hot cake. Allow the cake to cool completely in it's tin.
Once cake has cooled, remove from tin and slice. Enjoy with a cup of tea!
Store any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature. It should last 4-5 days, if it's not eaten by then that is.