Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lemon and poppyseed cake

One of my all-time favourite cakes. I am not a massive fan of chocolate cake, especially in the summer. I love the whole family of sweet, citrussy, and/or slightly spiced or herbal treats, like caramelised oranges with vanilla, lemon and rosemary cake, almond friands... all of course with strong Earl Grey to pick up the bergamot aroma. I love lemon and poppyseed cake either fresh from the oven, or firm and cold out of the fridge. I also love, each time I make it, briefly entertaining the notion that these particular poppyseeds are somehow laden with opium and I'm about to bake up a big slab of hallucinatory drugs, to be delicately enjoyed with afternoon tea. (Well, it keeps me amused.)

Lemon and poppyseed cake
  • One third of a cup poppyseeds

  • Three quarters cup full-cream milk

  • 180g softened butter

  • Grated rind of one big lemon
  • 1 cup caster sugar

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups self-raising flour

Line and grease a 14cm x 21cm loaf tin. Combine seeds and milk in small bowl: cover and stand for one hour. Put seed mix, butter, rind, sugar, eggs and sifted flour in electric mixer. Beat on low till combined, then beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until the mix is slightly changed in colour. Pour into pan and bake in moderate preheated oven for about 1 hour. Let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack.

I like to use the carcass of the grated lemon to make a runny icing: enough sifted icing sugar with a few lemon drops to make a soft drapy icing that can dribble attractively down the sides and goop itself all over the benchtop.

The cake freezes quite well.

No comments: