Using Sevilles gives this cake a deliciously tangy edge, but ordinary oranges will do just as well (the taste will be sweeter).
Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Line the base of a 20cm (8in) springform cake tin with nonstick baking paper, lightly grease the sides with butter and dust with flour. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour and baking powder and beat until combined. Add the orange zest and juice and the poppy seeds then beat together. Pour into the tin and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Meanwhile, for the oranges in syrup, heat the water, sugar, cardamom pods and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until syrupy. Remove from heat.
Cut the peeled oranges into slices and put in the syrup. Remove the cake from the tin and put on a platter. Spoon the oranges in syrup over, and serve with crème fraîche.
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* Seville oranges may only be available in limited stores