A couple of weeks ago we were up in Annapolis again, for a doctor’s appointment. A long way to go to a docs appointment – yes. But, they don’t have all the fancy sonogram equipment here that they do there. Appointment went fine, in and out in 45 minutes. So, while we were up there I had to go visit all my favorite grocery stores! Trader Joe’s was first on the list, to stock up on necessities. But then we headed to Whole Foods, and it was there that I came across these gorgeous ruby red currants…which of course I couldn’t resist dropping into my cart, even though I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them.
To me, they are kind of reminiscent of cranberries – but more berry like. Soft and juicy, but yet very tart at the same time. You always see them as garnishes on gorgeous desserts this time of year, but I wanted to do something special with them on their own. So, when in doubt? Put it in a loaf cake!
A batter includes buttermilk to make it nice and moist, some poppy seeds for a little crunch, as well as some orange zest for a kick of flavor. The currants are folded in at the last minute, to preserve their integrity. Then it’s baked and topped with a simple glaze of confectioner’s sugar and fresh orange juice. The sweetness of the cake paired with the tartness of the currants was just perfect. It was absolutely delightful for dessert the other night, and even better with a cup of coffee for breakfast the next morning. Everyone in the house raved enjoyed it. If you can find fresh currants locally, I’d highly recommended giving this one a try. I know you guys will love it too!
Currant & Poppy seed Loaf Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 orange, zested
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp poppyseeds
1 cup fresh red currants
For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the vanilla and orange extracts, as well as the eggs. Mix until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 alternating batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the poppyseeds to the batter and mix until just combined. Carefully fold in the currants.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack for 1 hour before removing from loaf pan.
To make the glaze whisk the confectioner’s sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over the warm cake before serving.