Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Panna Cotta White Chocolate & Berries
Waiting all year for local berry season to arrive gives us lots of time to dream up the very best way to feature these delicious gems. Our current favorite is this very special cake, which is worth every ounce of effort it takes to prepare.
To make the panna cotta:
(Prepare at least 6 hours in advance)
- 3-1/3 cups whipping cream
- 1 envelope Knox gelatin (1 Tbsp)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 oz white chocolate
In a medium saucepan, gently warm whipping cream (do not boil), then remove from heat and add gelatin, vanilla and chocolate, cut in small pieces. Stir until you have a smooth batter. Cool and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
To make the cake:
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1-3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1-1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 3 cups flour
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1-3/4 cups milk, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 8″ round pans.
With an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add one egg at a time and beat for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and lemon zest.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and poppy seeds.
Alternating, add half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk to the batter. Beat until smooth after each addition.
Divide batter equally between the three cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs. Take out of the oven and let cake cool for about 3 minutes. Then remove from pans and place on rack to finish cooling.
To make the pudding:
- 1 package vanilla pudding
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
While cakes cool make vanilla pudding according to package instructions. Add the lemon zest and refrigerate.
To assemble the cake:
- 2 lbs strawberries, thinly sliced
- Berries, flowers, and mint for garnish
Take the panna cotta out of the refrigerator and whip until it begins to thicken.
Place the first layer of cake on a platter. If your cakes have a dome, trim top to level.
Pipe a circle of the panna cotta on the edge of the layer top.
Fill the center with pudding and strawberries. Finish off by spreading panna cotta over the strawberries. Place second layer of cake on the first layer and repeat steps.
Place the last cake layer on top. Spread the remaining panna cotta. Smooth the icing over the top and sides with a cake spatula.
Garnish with berries, flowers and mint. Refrigerate until ready to serve.