POPPY CAKE / MAKOVNJAČA

Poppy cake, or popularly called “Makovnjača” in Croatia, is a dish that you can hardly bypass during Christmas holidays or even birthday parties. Looking like a loaf of bread with a twirly inside, you might expect something you can barely taste but when you take your first bite, all stereotypes just fall down. This is an amazing sweet dish that people often give to others in a spirit of good relations. So why not try to make on of your own? Once you master the recipe, every other time making the poppy cake will seem like a child’s game. Ready?

Ingredients:

Ingredients for dough:600 g flour,250 ml milk,100 g sugar,80 g margarine,30g baker’s yeast,5 yolk,1 lemon (zested),a pinch of salt;For filling: 400 g minced poppy,25 ml milk,220 g sugar,5 egg white,raisins soaked in rum,cinnamon;

Preparation:

Dough: Sift flour in a plastic bowl. Heat milk in a kettle until warm, not hot. Pour half in a second bowl, add little sugar, crumbled yeast and leave to rise. Form a pit in the flour, pour in a mixture of yeast and milk, cover with some flour and leave for a while. In the meantime, separate egg yolk from egg white. Whisk in yolk, margarine, sugar and lemon zest into a smooth mixture, pour the mixture onto flour, add leftover lukewarm milk, knead and salt. Knead the dough on a wooden board coated with flour until smooth. Leave to rise until it doubles in size.
Filling: Bring milk with sugar to boil, then stir in minced poppy. Stir it creamy, but not too watery. Beat 5 egg white until stiff. Once cooled, stir in egg white and sprinkle with cinnamon. Once the dough rises/doubles in size, split in half. Roll out each half, spread filling on top, garnish with raisins (they let out moisture) and form into a roll. Place on a greased and floured baking pan and bake in an oven heated to 190-200 degrees. Bake for 60-70 minutes. When done, leave in a warm pan for additional 15 minutes, turn it upside down on a wooden board, cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into slices.

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