Saturday 7 March 2009

Gilly's Citrus Poppy Seed Cake

Gilly's Citrus Poppy Seed Cake
This lovely, moist citrus cake comes from the the recipe book of Gilly Walters, the first local cook to be featured in my new 'South African Food Fundis' series. Click here to read Gilly's entry.

This cake is so easy to make, and is an absolute knock-out.

This recipe is easily doubled, if you're catering for a crowd. Omit the icing, if you'd like a less sweet pud, and serve with whipped cream.

Gilly's Citrus Poppy Seed Cake

For the cake:
3 extra-large free range eggs
1½ cups (375 ml) caster sugar
½ cup (125 ml) sunflower oil
1 cup (250 ml) plain white yoghurt
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
1¼ cups (310 ml) self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup (250 ml) desiccated coconut
a pinch of salt
80 ml poppy seeds

For the syrup:
grated rind of lemon or orange
100 ml lemon or orange juice
100 ml white sugar

For the icing:
1 Tbsp(15 ml) softened butter
1 cup (250 ml) icing sugar
fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a square cake tin (about 25 x 25 cm). Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Stir in the oil, yoghurt and vanilla essence. Now fold in the flour, coconut, salt and poppy seeds. You will have a fairly wet batter.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out dry. Remove from the tin and allow to cool.

To make the syrup, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, and bubble for three minutes. Brush the hot syrup over the cooled cake.

To make the icing, cream together the butter and icing sugar, adding lemon juice, a few drops at a time, to make a smooth, thick icing. Spread over the top of the cake.

Makes one 25 x 25 cm cake.

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