Friday, March 23, 2012

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Catching up one post at a time.... Purim fell out around the second week of the course with my soldiers, around the time I feel I know them well enough to spoil them with cakes and cookies. Indeed, I brought a lot of stuff to base that Sunday and they were truly surprised. (That their "commander" baked for them or that their "commander" could bake, I'm still not sure...) One of the cakes I made that week was this Orange Poppy Seed Cake which comes from the Purim chapter of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, although I dramatically shortened its title. I'm not sure what it is about poppy that makes it appropriate for Purim- perhaps because poppy is a traditional hamentashen filling, but this cake was easy enough to put together. I made a few substitutions but nothing that drastically changes the nature of the cake. I was unsure how an orange cake would be received with young soldiers but I guess I figured they'd eat anything. It turned out that they really enjoyed this cake. It was moist and flavorful but not too orangey and the poppy seeds really made it look beautiful. Another win for Marcy Goldman!

Orange Poppy Seed Cake
barely adapted from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp orange liqueur
1/3 cup poppy seeds
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a tube pan with parchment. Set aside.
Using a whisk or a mixer, blend the sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the orange juice, vanilla, liqueur and poppy seeds. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about an hour until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes in the pan before unmolding. 

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