The holidays have just passed us, but, like me, you may still have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.
But I’m also still totally stuffed.
Enter Poppy Seed Cake: a not-overly-sweet cake that’s light and fluffy, with flavors of winter. Think “toasty and spiced.”
I found this fantastic little book called The Czechoslovak Cook Book, by Joza Brizova at a library sale. I love finding old, dated cook books that smell like yellowed age. This one was copyrighted in 1965. Excellent.
I was happy to find a poppy seed filling recipe and a recipe for genoise as part of a meringue cake. Just like that, 1+1= poppy seed cake roll. Even the countries in my heritage (Hungary, Poland, Czech) have their own little variations; sometimes the cake is more dense, other fillings are popular, etc. At the very least, I highly suggest you keep the genoise cake recipe in your arsenal, because you can use just about any filling in a cake roll.
But today, I give you an airy and spiced slice of comfort food.
For Poppy Seed Filling
You Will Need
A mixer with whip
A small pot and whisk
Egg- 1 whole, separated
Whole Milk- 3/4 cup
Poppy Seeds- 2 cups
Sugar- 2/3 cup
Butter- 2 TB
Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
Cinnamon- 1/2 tsp
Lemon Peel- 1/2 tsp, grated
- Beat your egg white in a mixer with just a pinch of sugar until it is fluffy and stiff, set aside.
- Combine poppy seeds and milk in a small pot, and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add in your sugar, butter, vanilla, and lemon, simmer for 5 more minutes. You can lower the heat if the milk evaporates too much.
- Remove the filling from heat and allow to cool. Stir in your remaining egg yolk.
- Fold in beaten egg white, set aside in the fridge to cool and thicken.
For the Cake
You Will Need
A rubber spatula
A cookie sheet lined with wax paper
Egg- 5 whole, separated
Sugar- 5 TB
Cake Flour- 5 TB
Vanilla Extract- 1/2 tsp
Powdered Sugar- for dusting
- In a mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of sugar until they are fluffy and stiff. Move egg white to a new bowl.
- Whip egg yolks in the same mixer until it’s at “ribbon stage.” When you drizzle the egg yolk above itself from the whip, it should land in thick “ribbons” before absorbing back into itself.
- Very gently, fold flour and vanilla into the egg yolks with a rubber spatula. Don’t over mix!
- Gently fold in egg whites.
- Spray a lined cookie sheet with pan spray and sprinkle with powdered sugar, then delicately pour the batter into the pan. You can lightly use your spatula to spread it out.
- Bake at 325 degrees for approx. 15 minutes. You are looking for very little browning.
- When done baking, allow the pan to cool for just a couple minutes, then flip out onto a new piece of wax paper sprinkled with powdered sugar. You should have a nice, thick sheet of cake.
Assembling the Poppy Seed Cake
- Lightly trim any browned edges away from the cake.
- Use a spatula to evenly spread the cooled poppy seed filling over the cake. Leave approx. a 1/2 inch margin around the cake bare.
- Using your hands and the wax paper, roll the cake into a tight roll without squeezing out the filling. This takes a little practice for some.
- Wrap the wax paper tightly around the cake roll, and cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake generously before serving.
Hey! I’m still up to things! See what other things I’m getting published out on the big, scary internet: