This recipe has been a great favourite bake from Amazing Cakes From The Great British Bake Off. It was created by last year’s winner David Atherton. According to the recipe introduction it was his “favourite recipe from when he was growing up- he’s always been obsessed with the flavour of almonds.”
I love almond recipes as well but have never put poppy seeds in a cake with them before. I usually put poppy seeds in bread or a lemon cake. I must admit I had to buy in some poppy seeds to bake the recipe but I had some almond extract in. I love almond extract, the aroma of it is just heavenly.
Looking back at the photos, I actually baked this cake at the end of October and it ended up being one that was taken into work to share with my work mates. I can’t even remember what day of the week it was baked on as it was such a busy, full on time and I had just gone back to work after having to self isolate for two weeks.
Baking this cake also was a fantastic excuse to get out one of my Nordicware Bundt pans! I chose to use my Elegant Party Bundt Pan which is just perfect for this recipe with the drip icing and the grooves. Although I didn’t have any toasted flaked almonds to top the cake, I used whole cherries which turned it into more of a Bakewell recipe.
To begin with, the poppy seeds were infused in a pan of milk which came up to the boil and then simmered for a few minutes. I took the pan off the heat and then got the rest of the cake batter sorted out. The fat content is oil based, rather than butter or margarine and David uses olive oil in his. I thought the olive oil I had in my cupboard would be too strong for this recipe so I used sunflower oil instead.
In one bowl I whisked eggs and caster sugar together for about 4 minutes until the mixture became creamy and thick. To this, I then added in the oil and some almond extract. I whisked this carefully so it was well mixed in. The dry ingredients were weighed out in a separate bowl. Plain flour, baking powder and ground almonds were then added and carefully folded in.
Finally, the milk and poppy seed infusion was folded into the batter. I loved the look of the batter: the pale colour with the contrasting dark poppy seeds throughout the whole mixture looked really pretty.
Into the prepared bundt pan it went. I was hoping I wouldn’t have a bundt pan failure like I did last time but I took extra care to grease it. The cake takes less time to bake than a usual bundt recipe. Usually any bundt I have baked has taken about an hour or so but the required cooking time for this recipe was 30-35 minutes. I checked the cake at 25 minutes and it definitely needed the extra ten minutes.
To see the cake slide out of the pan as a whole without snapping in two or having half of it welded to the pan was a huge relief. It smelled wonderful as well. I just love the smell of almonds and my kitchen was full of this delicious aroma.
As the cake was cooling, I decided what I would do with the icing. When icing sugar was in very short supply in the supermarkets earlier on this year, I put in a massive order to Sugar and Crumbs for some of their flavoured icing sugars. I’ve always loved their icing sugars. I hadn’t got any plain icing sugar which I could flavour with almond extract so I had to use one of my Sugar and Crumbs flavours. I had a packet of their Cherry Bakewell icing sugar in my cupboard so I used some of that being as that was almond based. To top the cake I used glace cherries as I didn’t have any flaked almonds in.
The cake went to work to share with my work colleagues. I didn’t taste any but judging by the way the cake disappeared over the next day it must have tasted fine.
Love Sam xx