Lemon Cake with Poppy Seeds
Here’s another cake that I make over and over again at home, and it keeps being one of the favorites for my family members, just like the Orange Cake I’ve written about previously. The cake keeps moist (thanks to lemon syrup) with clear yellow presence of lemon zest and crunchy touch of poppy seeds. Personally, for me, this is the absolute “apogee” of home bakery – light, tasty, unpresumptuous and very simple to make. Sort-of the ultimate answer to a question like “What do you have for tee?”. The best part is that, probably, most of the ingredients could easily be found at almost any kitchen.
The inspiration for this recipe is coming from a book about baking bread. Still, I dare to claim that this one is a cake and not a bread. I have modified the technique around beating the bread with the sugar for the dough (instead of mixing, as suggested in the original recipe). This cake can be baked either in English-cake form, or in a form for baking muffins, in addition to the round form as shown in the photo above.
(For a round form of 22 cms in diameter, like the one in the photo, or for a deep English-cake form):
3 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 glass of milk
75 gr. butter (at room temperature)
1 glass of sugar
1 1/4 flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Zest from 2 lemons
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 glass of sugar
1/4 glass of lemon juice (approximately, juice taken from 2 large lemons)
1. Mix the poppy seeds with the milk and l eave the mixture for an hour. The original bread recipe didn’t specify if the poppy seeds should be ground or not, I liked it better with whole ones.
2. In a mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and then start adding eggs one-by-one, beating/mixing into a uniform mass after each egg.
3. Sift the flour with the salt and the baking powder. Then add the zest and mix thoroughly.
4. Using a mixer (at a low speed) add the flour and then the milk with the poppy seeds to a butter/eggs mixture obtained After adding each component, mix only to obtain a uniform mass, not more than that.
5. Sprinkle the baking form with butter and bake at 170C for 75 minutes (check for readiness with a toothpick – has to “return” dry when ready).
While the cake is in the oven, lets prepare the syrup…
6. In a small pan, mix the sugar with the lemon juice and heat the liquid until the sugar dissolves completely.
7. When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and, using a toothpick, make a number of holes in it (in order to ensure uniform distribution of the syrup).
8. Pour the hot syrup on the cake and leave it to cool down and soak in the taste.
When the cake has cooled down, it can be served…..