While living in New York City we became huge fans of Sweet Melissa cafe located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. It turns out there is a book that has all the recipes of the amazing pastry we used to eat in Sweet Melissa. We couldn't resist buying the book. My husband Andrei is an avid baker. The first recipe from the book he tried was orange poppy seed cake. Coming from Eastern Europe we love pastry with poppy seeds!
To bake the cake we will need:
1 whole orange; 1 cup of sugar; 3 eggs; 12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) of welted unsalted butter; 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour; 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder; 3/4 teaspoons of salt; 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
After we bake the cake we will cover it in a glaze. To make the glaze we will need:
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice; 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; 1/4 cup sugar
We start with cutting an orange into pieces and removing the stem. In a bowl mix the orange (skin and pulp) pieces with 1/2 cup of sugar until pureed. Make sure no large pieces of orange remain.
In a large bowl whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and eggs then add the orange puree and the melted butter. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. Gently combine both mixtures.
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let the cake cool.
For the glaze simmer orange juice, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan for about 3 minutes. With a pastry brush apply the hot glaze over the cake while the cake is still a bit warm.