It’s handy to have a few cake recipes up your sleeve that are both quick and simple. Even better to have one in your repertoire that doesn’t require you to pull out a written recipe at all. A Quatre-Quarts (aka Pound) cake is just that… and as long as you have a set of scales on hand, you can whip this cake up in a flash. Four main ingredients in equal quantities, though you may wish to enhance the basic batter, by adding spices like cinnamon or cardamom or by adding a hit of flavour with the likes of vanilla extract or citrus zest. This time around I’ve gone with the classic combination of orange and poppyseed, which I know will disappear all too quickly this afternoon when school gets out.
Orange Poppyseed Quatre-Quarts Cake | Gather and Graze
- 3 Large Free-Range Eggs (mine weighed 160g)*
- Unsalted Butter (160g)
- Caster Sugar (160g)
- Self-Raising Flour (160g)
- Pinch of Salt
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 1 tsp Poppy Seeds
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease and line an 18cm round cake tin.
Place a large mixing bowl on to a set of kitchen scales, ensuring it has been tared to 0g. Crack the 3 eggs into the bowl and take note of the weight. Mine weighed 160g.
Place the same weight of butter into a saucepan or microwaveable bowl and heat until just melted. Set aside to cool a little.
Add the same weight of caster sugar to the bowl with the eggs and whisk for 5 minutes or so, until creamy.
Sift in the same weight of self-raising flour, along with the pinch of salt, and fold in using the whisk until just combined.
Pour in the slightly cooled melted butter and fold in with the whisk until fully incorporated and the batter is smooth and silky.
Add the orange zest and poppy seeds and mix through evenly. Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30-35 mins, until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Check after 25 mins or so and if the cake top is starting to darken too quickly, place a loose sheet of foil across the top. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Feel free to serve sliced simply as is… or dust the top with a little icing sugar… or even better, drizzle with a little orange icing (made by stirring together 1½-2 tsp fresh orange juice along with 50g/⅓ cup of icing sugar).
My 3 eggs had roughly a 25g difference in weight depending on whether they were weighed with or without their shells. After testing this cake a number of times, I feel that the results are better if you go by the weight of the eggs without their shells.
This cake looks amazing! I love the cake!
Yeah, I would weigh the eggs without shell. If anything, you could do with 25g less sugar as it wouldn’t make as much difference.
I’ve just bought poppy seeds again. And chuck them wantonly over my home-made muesli (does that make me sound healthy? If so, think several roll-ups smoked before hand!). But I don’t think I’ve used them in cake. Love their flavour. Incidentally, I tried fresh apricot with sultanas this morning and that was a surprise hit. Will have to use that combination within a salad me thinks 🙂
Poppyseeds really do have a great flavour, though I’ve mostly only tried them in cakes and on bread rolls. I’m sure there’s a myriad of possibilities out there for using them in other dishes. Were the fresh apricots and sultanas added to the home-made muesli? Sounds delicious! Such a shame that apricot season passes by so quickly… we planted a little apricot tree last year, so it will be interesting (in a couple of year’s time) to taste the difference between home-grown, eaten ripe straight from the tree and shop-bought.
Yes, to the muesli.
Oddly, yesterday I tried a peppery basil (will have to go back to that store and find out the type) with herbes de Provence in a sandwich and that would work really well with the apricots and sultanas. Now for a dressing of apricot jam and vinegar (I’ll wing it, so to speak) with cream cheese. It’ll be my treat – or otherwise – this weekend.
Oh yes, freshly plucked apricots. I’ve never tried them.
You are right about weighing the eggs without the shells. For a result that is more moist, try a lower temperature (and longer time), or replacing 1 of the whole eggs with 3 yolks. (Eggs are generally 1/3 yolk and 2/3 white.)
Most other recipes just seem to say you should weigh the eggs, but neglect to qualify whether this be within or without the shell. A difference of 25 grams is a reasonable amount in my mind, so I’d much rather be specific. Thanks for your thoughts and advice Stefan… I’ll be more than happy to test them out next time I bake this cake! 🙂
A lovely afternoon tea indeed. Classic combo but sometimes a bit unsung hey, good to see it.
Thanks Lisa! Unsung to be sure… but very well-loved in this household! 😉
And so delish, just letting you know that when I went on like and reply to your post on my latest post, I somehow deleted your comment! I am so Sorry! That’s a first for me, my scone baking heavy handededness appears to me smerging into my typing as well. 🙊
No worries at all Lisa… if you’re keen, it may still be recoverable. If you go into comments, there is a trash section (a little like delving into the green bin! 😉 ), where it might still be sitting. That’s how it works on my system… but may not be the same for all. Let me know… always happy to write another comment otherwise! 🙂
Ooh, my kind of baking! In Spain I use olive oil instead of butter so I’ll try it out that way very soon!
Love to hear back if this works (or doesn’t work…) just as well with olive oil Tanya. Let me know! 🙂