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.