The Edible Bracket 2011

Last year's winners of the MNCAAPG Best Bracket contest are back. This March Madness season, we will be documenting foods associated with the competing schools. Consider it March Madness, Top Chef Edition.

Kansas State Wildcats (Manhattan, KS): Poppyseed Cake

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K-State has been a bubble team throughout this NCAA season, and we’re still not sure that they’re going to make the cut.  But after the Wildcats’ amazing win over No. 1-ranked Kansas last week, we figured the least we could do was cook up a food in their honor. 

But since we’d already made a dish using Kansas’s #1 agricultural product, we were at a bit of a loss about what else Kansas is known for.  And then it hit us.  Obviously the most famous thing about Kansas—even more famous than wheat—is the Wizard of Oz.

And so we contemplated making lollipops (too difficult) or just photographing a glass of water (too easy) when we settled on a food that celebrates the magic of Oz: poppyseed cake

And now, my beauties, something with poison in it, I think. Something with poison in it, but attractive to the eye,  and soothing to the smell. Poppies …  Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleep. Now they’ll sleep!

I Have a Feeling We’re in Kansas Poppyseed Cake

from Smitten Kitchen

2/3 cup sugar

8 eggs yolks

1 egg

zest from 2 lemons

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

pinch of salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 cup poppy seeds

1. Heat oven to 325, and grease a Bundt pan.  (We have a pretty big Bundt pan, which resulted in a very flat cake; probably better to use a significantly smaller pan.)

2. Beat together sugar and egg yolks/whole eggs for about 6-7 minutes until mixture is very pale yellow and fluffy.

3. Beat in lemon zest, then cornstarch/flour mixture, and pinch of salt.

4. Beat in melted butter and poppy seeds.

5. Pour batter into Bundt pan, and cover with a piece of aluminum foil.

6. Let cook about 30-35 minutes.