Before the big move to Barcelona, I am staying at my parents’ house in Riga for a couple of weeks. It has been a while since I’ve been home for so long and I had almost forgotten how beautiful Riga is at the end of spring. Everything is green with occasional bright dandelion fields in the middle and sweet scent of lilac’s in the air. Such a beauty deserves celebration and I cannot think of anything more suitable than this rich, sweet and sunny looking cake full of dark and flavourful poppy seeds and layered with delicious caramel icing.
POPPY SEED AND CARAMEL CAKE
6 teaspoons cornstarch
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
300g poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons butter
80ml double cream
225g cream cheese
1/4 teasoon vanilla extract
300g icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 24cm cake pans.
- Sift flour and cornstarch into a large bowl. Mix and add sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds.
- In a separate bowl beat eggs until light and almost doubled in size (about 5 minutes). Melt butter and when COOLED add it to eggs together with milk and vanilla extract. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Divide between the prepared cake pans and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare caramel icing melt sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and becomes light brown. Whisk in double cream and blend well. Cool to a room temperature. Separately beat together cream cheese and vanilla for a couple of minutes until combined. Slowly pour in the cooled caramel. Keep beating the icing and gradually add icing sugar. Chill for firmer texture.
- When ready to assemble the cake cut two layers of the cake in half. Spread icing evenly between the layers of the cake and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.