Whenever I have a food craving, I go through a series of thoughts: (1) Is it within immediate reach? If the answer is no, I proceed to the next questions: (2) Can I cook/bake/make it? (3) Do I have the resources (4) Am I too lazy / afraid to attempt it (like, roast duck which I may end up with nothing). So really, it almost seems quite miraculous that I do try to cook anything at all.
Anyway that was how this poppy seed lemon cake came along. I was craving for citrus and yellow is such a pretty colour for spring, isn’t it? I was smart enough this time to translate poppy seed into Swedish (S: vallmofrö) before I set out the door, but wasn’t smart enough to read on the package that they were white (S: vita) ones. So that explains why you don’t see the beautiful black poppy seeds. Don’t worry, they’re in there.
I also love yogurt in cakes. Maybe it’s just me, but I often find it makes a cake rather moist and cheese-cakey-like. Well, actually it was an accidental discovery as the recipe asked for cream but I didn’t have any so I used Turkish Yogurt (Which is really nice and widely available in Sweden. It’s creamier plus, not as tart as, Greek Yogurt)
- 200g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 to4 tbsp poppy seeds
- 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ⅓ cup yogurt
- ¼ cup natural, Turkish or Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ cups icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cake tin with non stick baking paper.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then stir in the poppyseed till combined.
- Beat the butter with an electric beater till it is pale yellow and creamy (approximately 2-3 minutes, depending on your beater).
- Add the sugar and beat for another 3-4 minutes or till the sugar is has been completely beaten in and the mixture is again pale yellow and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and make sure to beat well after each addition. If the butter begins to look curdled, it means you have not beaten the mixture for long enough so just keep beating it till it is once again smooth and fluffy.
- Add the lemon juice and zest and beat till incorporated.
- Beat in the flour in three additions, alternating with the yogurt, on a low setting till ingredients are only just incorporated (this is to prevent you from overworking the gluten in the batter and getting a tough or extremely domed cake).
- Scrape the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- For the yogurt glaze method, beat the yoghurt in a bowl with a fork till it is smooth and rid of lumps, then stir in the icing sugar a few tablespoons at a time, making sure that each addition is completely stirred in and that all lumps are gone. Allow to sit for a few minutes before dolloping over the cake.