Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Cranberry-Orange-Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

This is a cake I came up with about 10 years ago, to combine some of my favourite cake flavours. It was still in the days of low-fat cooking, so I really cut back on the butter a lot. It seems to work fine though. Nowadays I am probably more worried about the amount of sugar in things. Heigh-ho. Still, I don't make cake all that often, in spite of the inordinate number of desserts that I seem to be posting this month. Hmm. This was for someone's birthday, honest.

I actually made this particular cake with Meyer lemons instead of oranges. They worked out very well. I used 3 in the cake and 1 for the glaze. If you use oranges, don't forget you will need 3 of them if you want to glaze it.

8 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Cranberry Orange Poppy Seed Loaf Cake Make the Cake:
2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 extra-large egg
the zest of 2 large oranges
2 cups soft whole wheat flour
1/3 cup poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup buttermilk or milk

Chop the cranberries coarsely; actually I just cut them in half individually. Lightly butter a large loaf pan or 8" round springform pan. If using a springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the butter in a mixing bowl with the sugar, and work it in until it is evenly distributed throughout. Beat in the egg. Grate in the zest from the oranges, and mix it in.

Measure the flour and mix it with the poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.

Mix the flour into the sugar and egg mixture alternately with the orange juice and buttermilk. Gently stir in the chopped cranberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Optional Glaze:
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup icing sugar

If you would like to glaze the cake, while it is still warm mix the orange juice and icing sugar until smooth. Poke the cake all over the top with a fork, then drizzle and spread the glaze over the top of the cake as evenly as you can. Let the cake finish cooling before serving.

Last year at this time I made Baked Ricotta Cheese.

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