Poppy Seed Cake

A wonderfully flavoured sponge with the crunchy texture of poppy seeds. A perfect accompaniment for a cup of tea in either sunny or rainy weather!!
Serves: 6 - 8
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
6 oz / 175 g butter, plus 1 tsp extra
10 oz / 275 g self-raising flour
8 oz / 225 g sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
5 fl oz / 1/4 pint / 150 ml milk
2 tbsp sour cream (substitute with extra milk, or natural yogurt if prefer)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
1 tbsp icing sugar for decoration

Herbs & Spices
4 oz / 110g Poppy Seed
Cooking Instructions
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4

Grease a 7 inch / 18 cm loose bottom tin with 1 tsp of butter, and dust with 1 tbsp of flour.

In a mixing bowl, or a food processor, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla essence, poppy seeds, half of the milk and the sour cream. Sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and fold in with a metal spoon (or whizz further in your processor). Stir in the remainder of the milk as you go.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. If you have used a food processor to mix your cake up until now, transfer the mixture to a bowl. Fold in the egg whites using a metal spoon.

Spoon the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

Sift the icing sugar over the top for decoration and serve.