I'm pretty proud of this cake. It's kind of like my baby. Recently I've been ready Shirley Corriher's Cookwise, a textbook on all the geekery science behind cooking. It's pretty awesome and helped and inspired me to come up with my own cake recipes. This is the very first one.
I wanted a cake that wasn't too sweet or too dry, that was tender but had a satisfying density to it.
I think it turned out pretty darn well.
Poppy Seed Cake
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
In the microwave or on the stove, heat the milk to almost boiling and stir in the poppyseeds. Remove from the heat and set aside to soak for at least an hour.
Grease and flour a 9" cake pan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350º F (177º C)
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and gradually add the sugar, beating constantly until it's light and fluffy. This step is very important since it gives the cake it's fluffiness. If you don't spend the time beating air into the butter, the cake won't rise properly.
One at a time, beat the eggs into the butter-sugar, followed by the vanilla, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Finally, drain the poppy-seeds and stir them into the batter.