Ages ago I bought a packet of poppy seeds with every intention of making some lemon and poppy seed muffins like the ones in Caffe Nero that I love so much. Time went by and the sadly the seeds got pushed to the side of the cupboard and forgotten about, until today.
I'm a big fan of lemon and lime flavoured bakes, so I love a lemon drizzle cake; they're very quick and easy to make and I love their moisture and zinginess* (*not sure if that's a word, but it looks cool). I was thinking that I hadn't done any baking in a while, well over a week, which is too long for me! I had a rummage in the baking bits cupboard and found the seeds, so instead of just going for lemon and poppy seed muffins today I decided to make Lorraine Pascale's Lemon and Lime Poppy Seed from her Fast Fresh and Easy Food book.
I spotted the recipe last week and thought it sounded a really lovely cross between muffins and the classic drizzle cake.
125g/4oz soft butter/stork
150g/5oz caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla essence
3 medium eggs
150g/5oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp poppy seeds
100g icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180c (fan 160c, gas mark 4). Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence and 2 of the eggs and beat until thoroughly combined.
2. Add the last egg, the flour, baking powder and finely grate in the zest of the lemon and the lime. Stir the poppy seeds through.
3. Pour the batter in to a lined loaf tin.
Bake for 35 mins, or until the cake is cooked (use the skewer technique to check this, when inserted the skewer is inseterrwd in to the centre of the cake it should come out clean).
4. Meanwhile, put the icing sugar in to a small bowl and squeeze in the juice from your lemon and lime. Mix together and set aside.
*Lorraine says to use only the juice of the lemon or the lime, which creates a really pretty and quite thick white icing effect on top. However, I've included both juices because I wanted a really runny icing mixture which would run in to the cake easily and soak it like a classic drizzle cake.
5. When the cake is out of the oven, leave it to cool for a few minutes. Then skewer the top of the cake randomly to create lots of little holes. Pour the icing drizzle all over the top until completely soaked up.
Then slice up, sit down with a cup of coffee in your favourite mug and enjoy!
The cake fills the kitchen with the most delicious smell and the cake itself it's fab. Lemony and limey, with plenty of moisture and the wonderful texture added by the crunch of the poppy seeds. Yum!