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Poppyseed Chocolate Cake - Mohnkuchen

May 26, 2010

Mohnkuchen
What I miss most about Vienna is certainly not the street cars that go in turtle's speed or the deserted streets after 9 pm, it's its coffee shops where delicious, colorful sweets are mercilessly displayed and brought to your table by grouchy ladies in brown-pink outfits with aprons and slippers. When you are surrounded by the color of pink and the smell of ground coffee is boosting your appetite and there are countless cake varieties to choose from, each one more fresh and inviting than the other, making a decision is challenging. The lady looks at you impatiently waiting to take your order, but you can't say anything until your eyes travel on every single slice lying inside the glass display. The lady in pink, usually storms off and doesn't come back until she is convinced that you have made up your mind. Yes, I am talking specifically about Aida.

Most tables in Aidas are occupied by old, really old Viennese ladies in hats with their unique sense of style. They are always accompanied by their most beloved ones, that is, their tiny and snobbish dogs who sit on the chair opposite, looking into the eyes of their master, pretending to be a real person. A site to see, really. Talking about old ladies, I must admit I wanted to take the first plane back when I stepped into a street car on my first day and calculated the average age of people around me as 85. But I quickly changed my mind, thanks to our visit to Aida as part of the orientation tour. 

When I remember all those delicious sweets, its funny I remember this one the most. Yet, I haven't encountered it in any of the cake shops. Instead, I had the pleasure of eating it at small birthday gathering of an Austrian friend, Johannes. It was not one of those glamorous birthday cakes but looked very modest, even boring. Until I had a slice..

As my kind Turkish manners dictated, I waited a while after everybody had their share. My eyes fixed on the remains of the cake, I waited for people's attention to turn to something else so I could seize the moment for another slice, but it was too late. My manners had let me down. Next day I called Johannes and asked the recipe and his mother was kind enough to fax it to me right away, this is how I acquired the treasure. 

And what makes this cake even more intriguing is that poppy seeds replace flour and establish a superb harmony with chocolate: something only the Viennese, the masters of bakery could have thought, I was gonna say. But I just remembered that Johannes' mom is German and so is the cake. 

Chocolate And Poppyseed Cake

Poppyseed Chocolate Cake - Mohnkuchen

Kitchenware required:

  • 30 cm rectangular cake tin

Ingredients:

  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g dark chocolate (preferably with 70% cacao essentials)
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 g ground poppy seeds
  • 5 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
  2. Grease and dust the cake tin.
  3. Melt butter and chocolate together in baine-marie.
  4. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until fluffy.
  5. Whisk together melted butter and chocolate and add to the fluffy mixture.
  6. Whisk together vanilla and ground poppy seeds and add to mixture.
  7. Whisk egg whites until stiff and carefully combine with mixture. Do not over-mix.
  8. Pour the mixture in cake tin and cook in the oven for approximately 1 hour 30-40 minutes. An inserted knife should come out clean. Served with semi-whipped cream.
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