There’s a way to make a more nourishing cake, and pastry chef and wellness enthusiast Marianne Stewart has dozens. Pick up a copy of her new collection of recipes and get ready to make desserts that are better for you. This orange, butternut and poppy seed loaf is sublime.
This cake is another food memory reinvented. When I first moved to London to work as a pastry chef, I worked at Baker & Spice in Chelsea where we used to make wonderful orange and poppy seed loaves. No skimping on ingredients, we used organic eggs and plenty of French butter in the recipe. This loaf cake is definitely better for the waistline, but still has bags of flavor and moisture from the butternut squash and citrus zest.
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1/4 cup finely ground oats or oat flour
- 2/3 cup ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon xantham gum (optional)
- 1/2 butternut squash
- finely grated zest of 1 large orange
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 eggs
- 7 tablespoons granulated sugar or raw brown sugar
- Candied Orange Slices, to decorate
- coconut oil, for greasing
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons golden confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- juice of 1/4 lemon
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 1-pound loaf tin with coconut oil and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
Sift together the flours, ground almonds, raising agents and xanthan gum, if using, and set aside.
Peel and coarsely grate the butternut squash. Weigh out 5 1/4 ounces and scatter over the zests, juices and poppy seeds.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and doubled in volume. Gently fold through the butternut mixture lightly, followed by the dry ingredients, then leave for 10 minutes.
Scrape the batter into the tin and bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed and an inserted skewer or cocktail stick comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the icing, sift the icing (confectioners’) sugar into a bowl, add the poppy seeds and add enough juice to form an icing the thickness of double (heavy) cream. You probably will not need all of it. Pour the icing over the cooled cake and leave for a few minutes before decorating with the Candied Orange Slices.