LEMON AND POPPY SEED CAKE
Recipe provided by Elaine Ward and Lisa Marchant from Buckinghamshire
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes 1 cake, approximately 12 slices
85g unsalted butter (room temperature)
245g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1½ lemons (unwaxed)
15g poppy seeds plus extra for decoration
165ml whole milk
235g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 egg whites
Freshly squeezed juice and zest of 1 lemon
50g caster sugar
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
250g icing sugar (sifted)
1. Preheat the oven to 170 deg C / 325 deg F / Gas 3
2. Put the butter, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or use a hand-held whisk and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split).
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl. Beat thoroughly until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a hand–held electric whisk until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon fold the whisked egg whites into the cake mixture until well mixed, but do not over mix. Pour into the prepared ring mould and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the pre heated oven for about 30 minutes or until the sponge bounces back.
5. For the lemon syrup:
While the cake is baking, put the lemon juice and zest, sugar and 100ml of water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a low heat. Raise the heat and boil until it has reduced by half, or until it has a thin syrup consistency.
6. When the hot cake comes out of the oven, pour the syrup all over the top. Leave to cool slightly in the mould before turning out on to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
7. For the lemon glaze:
Mix the lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. It should be thick but pourable – add a little water or more sugar to thin or thicken as necessary.
8. When the cake is cold, pour over the glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds.