A version of this poppy seed cake appeared in the cookbook “Cakes and Cookies” – Hanna’s first book and the first cake cookbook published in Israel. The book became an instant hit, over half a million copies were sold and it was reprinted many times over. The book is responsible for creating countless nostalgic childhood memories in homes in Israel.
Aside from the poppy seed cake, her most famous cake is probably the whipped cream cake that could be found in every home for every event, and a marble cake that was also a hit amongst Israelis.
This poppy seed cake is an updated version of the recipe that appeared in Hanna’s cookbook. It is stable, tall and airy and very forgiving and open to adjustments: it is delicious as it is, a perfect dessert with a coating of chocolate ganache on top or with a crown of powdered sugar. Hanna likes to add almond flour or chopped chocolate to it, and you can also add pieces of nuts, raisins and more. If you choose to use almond flour rather than breadcrumbs, its texture will be slightly more moist.
Ingredients for Poppy Seed Cake
- 5 eggs medium, separated
- 1 cup Sugar
- 8.8 oz (250 grams) ground poppy fresh
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chopped
For the ganache:
- 7 oz (200 grams) bittersweet chocolate
- 6.7 fl oz (200 ml) sweet cream
1. Heat an oven to 355F (180C) degrees in convection/fan/turbo mode and grease a 9.5"-10" (24-26 cm) diameter pan.
2. Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff.
3. Mix egg yolks with oil and brandy. Add breadcrumbs (or ground almonds), poppy seeds and chopped chocolate and mix until homogenousFold the poppy mixture and egg yolks into the foam gently to obtain a uniform batter..
4. Gently fold the poppy seed/egg yolk mixture into the egg until just combined.
5. Pour the batter into the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out moist and covered with a few crumbs. You can sprinkle powdered sugar over it and you can cover it with chocolate coating (see the next step).
Prepare the ganache (optional):
6. Heat cream to just before a boil, turn off the heat, add the chocolate and let sit for a minute or two. Mix with a whisk to obtain a uniform mixture. Cool until the ganache hardens a bit and becomes easy to spread. Spread over the cake.
You can replace the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of ground almonds or 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of ground almonds.