1/3 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten (save yolks for filling)
Preheat oven to 375.
Grease well and lightly flour two 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.
Place the poppy seeds and milk in a small bowl; soad for 1 hour then add the vanilla.
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy; add the poppy seed mixture.
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the butter/sugar mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites. Spread the mixture into the prepared cake pans.
Bake cakes at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tsp cornstarch
2 1/4 cups milk
6 egg yolks, beaten lightly
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
powdered sugar, for dusting
Couple of fresh mint sprigs for garnish, if desired
2 to 4 fresh berries for garnish, if desired
In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, milk, and egg yolks, cook while stirring until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Stir in nuts, if using.
Cut each of the cake layers in half crosswise. Place one layer on cake plate and spread with 1/3 of the filling. Top filling with a second layer and top with another third on the filling; repeat once more. Place last layer atop the filling and dust with powdered sugar. Add a mint sprig and a few fresh berries of your choice to the center as garnish, if desired.