Poppy-seed challenge and the challengeless sure-bet

A sweet mix between your classic poppy seed and apple cakes.

Poppy-seed cake (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Poppy-seed cake
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
I just love poppy seeds, and so I often prepare poppy seed cakes and pastries, as well as use them as toppings on bread and rolls. A few weeks ago, I received a request from one of my readers to provide a recipe for a gluten-free poppy seed reduced-sugar cake.
And so I took this challenge upon myself to alter one of my favorite recipes – poppy seed and apple cake – so that readers who don’t eat gluten can enjoy this tasty cake, too. I replaced the wheat flour for gluten-free flour and reduced the amount of sugar considerably, and in place I added agave syrup and dried fruits. In the end, the cake came out soft and not too sweet. If you’d like it to be a little sweeter, you can drizzle agave syrup on top just before serving.
I also replaced the butter/margarine from the original recipe with coconut oil. A nice addition could be adding coconut flakes on top, or covering with chocolate icing or whatever cream coating you desire. You can then sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the icing.
Poppy-seed cake
For batter:
4 medium Granny Smith apples
3 tsp. agave syrup
6 eggs, separated
1½ cups sugar substitute
200 gr. poppy seeds, ground
80 gr. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. cornflour
2 Tbsp. raisins or unsweetened dried cranberries
2 dates, pitted and cut into small cubes
½ cup gluten-free flour, sifted
Agave syrup
Chopped nuts
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into cubes. Place apple pieces in a pot with the agave syrup and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and mash apples.
Whip the egg whites with a beater on high speed. Gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form. Mix apple mixture with egg yolks, poppy seeds, coconut oil, cornflour, raisins and dates. Fold egg whites into mixture and then add the flour.
Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake for 1 hour in an oven that was preheated to 170º to 180º. Remove and let cool. Sprinkle with nuts and drizzle with agave syrup.
You can replace the Granny Smith apples with any other type of apple, or even pears. Instead of covering with chocolate icing, you can sprinkle with powdered sugar or a little agave or maple syrup.
Make sure you’re using fresh poppy seeds, and that they’re not bitter or moldy. It’s best to purchase them from a store that has a high turnover and where they’re stored in the fridge (especially in the summer).