8 November 2011

Poppy seed cake - 'Mohnkuchen'

This is the second recipe with poppy seed on my blog (the recipe for my poppy seed plait is here). Again, there is no story to go with this – it is only that I love poppy seeds in cakes and pastries (if you don’t, I recommend steering clear of this). I only have one warning: serious tooth brushing is required after eating this cake, especially if any kind of public speaking is on the cards. As I mentioned in my post on the poppy seed plait a few weeks ago the seeds need to be ground or crushed or they are unpleasant and gritty. If you can’t import ground poppy seed from Germany (or another central or east European country) a good food processor or spice grinder can do the job. With a bit of elbow grease the seeds can also be crushed with a pestle and mortar. This recipe should be baked in a round spring form of 23 – 26 cm. I used a 23 cm tin for a better poppy seed to pastry ratio.

For the pastry:

250g plain flour
80 g sugar
120 g butter
1 egg
½ tsp baking powder

Combine all ingredients and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough, leave to rest in the fridge.

For the filling:

40 g corn flour
4 tbsp sugar
1 vanilla pod
500 ml milk
250 g ground poppy seed
Swig of dark rum (or a handful of raisins soaked in rum)

Mix the corn flour and the sugar. Add a bit of the cold milk and whisk well until there are no lumps left. Boil the rest of the milk with the vanilla pod (seeds scraped into the milk). When it is boiling remove the vanilla pod and add the corn flour mixture. Boil for a minute or so whisking constantly until the mixture resembles thick custard. Add the poppy seed and rum (or raisins if using). Leave to cool slightly.

In the meantime make the crumple topping by combining the following:

100 g flour
70 g butter
70 g sugar

 Thinly roll out the pastry (this works best between two layers of cling film) and line the greased spring form. The rim should be about 3 cm high. Fill the pastry case with the poppy seed mixture and smooth the surface. Top with the crumble and bake at about 180 degrees for 60 minutes or until the crumbly top is golden brown. This cake is very moist and tastes even better on the second or third day.

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