Sunday, March 1, 2009

Orange Sour Cream Poppy Seed Grand Marnier Cake

This is an absolutely lovely moist cake. It looks fantastic & tastes even better. I usually make this recipe as a large cake using a kugelhopf tin (8 cup/2 litre). You could also use a fluted ring tin.

I also love the idea of having individual little cakes for everyone to enjoy. It makes one feel as if it is a treat especially for you.

Large or small?

I found the Baker's Secret 12 cup mini bundt pan with the same shapes as a kugelhopf tin and fell in love with it. I had to add it to the cake tin collection of which there are already too many. As my dear friend Pat was having a party for her Big One and as we have both made this cake for ever so long, I thought having baby cakes would be a nice twist on an old favourite. The original recipe came from an old Australian Vogue Magazine from the 1980's.

Baker's Delight kugelhopf tin and mini bundt tins

I have made it recently for my daughter but I used 200g of poppy seeds (as stated in the original recipe) which made it a bit heavy, so I have gone back to using 100gm.

Orange Sour Cream Poppy Seed Grand Marnier Cake


250g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
3 egg yolks, beaten
200g sour cream (not light)
*grated rind of 1 orange (see note below)
1 3/4 cups (265g/8 1/2 oz) self-raising flour
100 - 200g poppy seeds
3 egg whites
pinch of salt

3/4 cup castor sugar
juice and zest from 2 oranges and 2 lemons
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or Contreau)
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Butter and flour the tin.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter then cool it. Combine the sugar, egg yolks, sour cream and grated orange rind in the mixer bowl. Add the melted butter and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the sifted flour and poppy seeds (rather than sifting the flour, a quick alternative is to use a whisk to aerate the flour).

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold firm, but not dry peaks. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of this meringue to wet the mixture then gently fold in the rest into the mixture until it is just incorporated.

For the mini bundt tins, use a piping bag to pipe the mixture evenly into the molds, filling them 3/4 full (or turn the mixture into the kugelhopf tin if making a larger cake) . Bake the mini bundt cakes for 20 minutes (1 hour for a larger tin) or until a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out.

Combine the orange and lemon juice, Grand Marnier, sugar, salt and zest in a small saucepan. Heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil without stirring , then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until you have a nice thick syrup. Let the syrup cool slightly then gradually spoon the syrup over the hot cakes until it is absorbed. Arranged the candied orange and lemon zest over the top of each cake. Let the cakes cool and then serve with thick cream or alternatively, store covered in the refrigerator.

In the original recipe, the syrup was simmered for only 5 minutes. I found the longer simmer gives a more luxurious taste to the syrup.

*Make sure you wash and dry the oranges and lemons before removing the rind as they've been waxed during packing. To remove the rind, use a zester for strips and a grater for fine rind. You can also use a vegetable peeler then use a sharp knife to cut fine strips. Only use the orange outer layer. Don't use the pith as it is bitter.

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