Poppy Seed Bundt

On Monday, I tried making Pad Thai. It was my second attempt after a gruesome  event about a year ago when I created what will henceforth be dubbed as “Nasty Noodle Mess 2011.” The episode left me rightfully fearful of wok tossed noodles, and my self-proclaimed retirement from all Asian cookery loomed, heavy in the kitchen for the better part of a year. On Monday though, I was feeling brave. I unearthed my fish sauce and block of tamarind, dusted off my unopened package of rice noodles, and dutifully polished the wok. Things, though, were a fast downward spiral from there. The “Pad Thai” that ensued was a fishy smelling clump of noodles. It was inedible. I was feeling rather crushed about this yesterday. I couldn’t understand how, if I applied the proper ingredients and method of cooking consistent with the extensive research I had done on the topic of Pad Thai creation, would it just not work? I needed respite from the cruel, cold world around me. I needed to redeem myself.

Cue fanfare! This poppy seed bundt was precisely the kind of redemption I was looking for. I found a simple recipe for a vanilla bundt cake and added some poppy seeds. Instead of the typical paring of lemon and poppy, I used orange blossom water to flavor the glaze, and finished with a sprinkle of crushed pistachios. Heavenly!

As for the Pad Thai, I might recover from this week’s disaster in time try again next February. In the meantime, I’ll just be here licking my wounds, eating my cake.

Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Adapted from Bon Appetit


1 ½ C All Purpose Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

¼ tsp Salt

14 T Unsalted Butter, room temperature

¼ C Granulated Sugar

¼ C Brown Sugar, packed

¼ C Maple Syrup

2 Large Eggs

1 Large Egg Yolk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 tsp Bourbon

½ C Buttermilk

1 ½ C Powdered Sugar

4 tsp Half-And-Half

½ tsp Orange Blossom Water

1 tsp Lemon Juice

¼ C Unsalted Pistachios, shelled and crushed

Directions: Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a standard bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat sugars and butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add in maple syrup, vanilla, and bourbon. Add flour mixture in 2 additions alternately with buttermilk in 1 addition.  Transfer batter to bundt pan and smooth top evenly.

Bake until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clear, approx 40 minutes. Cook in pan 15 minutes, then transfer rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, half-and-half, orange blossom water, and lemon juice. Whisk vigorously until a glaze forms and sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over completely cooled bundt cake and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.


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