Not often do I have much interest in baking, let alone Polish desserts. Even though I’m of Polish descent, I grew up and spent most of my adult life in South East Asia and China – which skewed my palette towards vibrant flavors, colors and an explosion of spices – a far departure from traditional Polish cuisine.
However, a few Polish dishes will always have a place in my heart – “makowiec”, which translates to poppy seed cake, is one of them.
I modified the traditional version to make it free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and grains. To make it nut free, substitute almonds with tigernuts.
- 1½ cups poppy seeds
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 ripe bananas, chopped
- ⅓ cup arrowroot flour
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup sweetened cranberries, chopped
- ¾ cup sweet sour cherries; fresh, frozen (if frozen, thaw and drain to measure ¾ cup), dried (if dried, rehydrate in hot water for 15 minutes), roughly chopped
- ½ cup chopped 70% (or higher) dark chocolate
- 3 tablespoons almond meal or flour (or, freshly grind a handful of almonds), or
- 1 tablespoon brown, cane or coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons almond slivers, roasted
- Place the poppy seeds in a heavy-bottomed medium pan, add the boiling water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes on
medium highheat. If any water remains, continue simmering until all water evaporates.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Transfer the poppy seeds to a
blender and whizz on high for about 3 minutes, or until the poppy seeds become a high speed mixture. Stop the blender and use a spatula to scrapes the sides and restart. well blended
- To the blender, add the bananas, arrowroot flour, coconut oil, lemon juice, all the extracts
andsalt. Whizz for another minute, or until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the cranberries, cherries, chocolate and almond meal. Taste and if the mixture needs more sweetness, mix in a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey at the time. If the
were ripe, the cake should be sweet enough. bananes
- Grease the springform and pour the mixture and distribute it evenly with a spatula.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
- Loosen sides from springform with a knife and remove the rim. Cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours
.Thecake will be soft but will harden as it cools.
- Grind sugar and cinnamon in a coffee grinder. Use a fine sieve to dust the cake with the
mixture. Sprinkle with almond slivers. sugar cinnamon
High-speed food blender (like Vitamix, Blendtec or Nutribullet)