Monday, November 07, 2005

WEAPONS OF MESS + DESTRUCTION


Armed with my new weapon of mess and destruction- a shiny, orange Kitchenaid (thank you to Mom, Dad, Beryl, Dave and Mardon)- I am going to tackle several items on The Great Kitchen Challenge (the project formally known as Around the World in 80 Plates) list this week.

First on the hit list is Poppy Seeds; I know it isn't on the list of the first ten items but it will appear in the next batch so I don't feel like I'm cheating. I love Lemon Poppy Seed loaf but always get annoyed because there is never enough lemon tang to it so I eat the frosted top and then eat the not as nice dry half in between gulps of tea to moisten it. So goal number one with this challenge is to make a loaf that is citrusy. Goal Two is make it moist from start to finsh.

Taking the citrus aspect of the bread to another level, I have experimented by combining lemons and oranges which gives this the name St. Clements after a nursery rhyme. To keep it moist I have added an extra yolk. This discovery was entirely by accident but I am convinced that it had something to do with it (well that and the nice amount of butter in the recipe too). I had planned on using 3 eggs but had two double yolks in a row. I decided that rather then risk it being too rich, I only used the white from the last egg. The dash of almond extract hits you with a subtle flavour when you are halfway through eating a slice but does not overpower the citrus notes. Next time I try this I plan to substitute the almond extract with Orange Flower water which will give it a slightly floral smell and taste (if someone tries it before me please let me know).

ST. CLEMENTS POPPY SEED CAKE
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

(For loaf)
225g. Butter
175g. Caster sugar
3 eggs plus 1 extra yolk
350g. Plain flour
3 tsp. Baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp. Almond extract
Rind and juice of 1 orange and 2 lemons
50g. Poppy Seeds

(For icing)
Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
Icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a loaf tin. Sift the flour and baking powder together and put aside. Mix the first 8 loaf ingredients listed above until well blended and smooth. Fold in the poppy seeds. Pour mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top so it is even. Place in the oven and bake 55 minutes; at this point check if it is cooked in the middle. If not, bake for an additional 5 minutes. Once slightly cooled, remove from tin onto cooling rack and leave to cool for about 30 minutes.

While the loaf is cooling, mix about 5 tbsp. of icing sugar with 1 tbsp. of juice (to start). The consistency should be a thick glaze that will not run completely off the loaf. Add more sugar or juice as necessary and to taste. Once the loaf is cooled, drizzle the mixture over the top of the loaf.

2 comments:

Mom said...

What is Orange Flower Water? Not perfume?

Xochitl said...

Orange Flower water, also known as Orange Blossom water can usually be found in the Middle Eastern or Ethnic section of the supermarket. It can be used in a number of ways in and out of the kitchen. In addition to adding a few drops to scent a bath, you can use it in both sweet and savory dishes. In the past I have added a couple drops to a whipping cream for strawberries and cream. Remember that a little goes a long way with this stuff- you don't want to feel like you are eating a bottle of perfume!