Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake
Afternoon tea usually involves cake in our household, and you can't beat a classic bake such as lemon and poppy seed. For some reason a couple of oddballs in the house (won't name and shame them!) are averse to chocolate, so I tend to bake non-chocolate ones. There were a few ripe lemons which needed to be used up and everyone was pulling through the tail end of the flu, which meant something cheery for tea time - and trust me no one was complaining an hour or so later! I used a 9 inch bundt tin for this cake but you can also use a regular 9 inch cake tin.
Ingredients (makes 10-12 slices)
200g unsalted butter, softened
225g golden granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of two large lemons
3 medium eggs
3 tbs poppy seeds
250g plain flour
1 level tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
for the syrup
12 tbsp lemon juice (from two large lemons)
10 tbsp granulated sugar
for the icing
120g icing sugar
3-4 tbsp milk
Preheat your oven to 170 fan/gas mark 5/375°f. Grease and flour your bundt tin or grease and line your cake tin.
In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together for a minute or so. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract and add the grated zest of the lemons. Add the milk and poppy seeds and mix well.
Next, add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate mixing bowl and whisk together. Now add in two to three batches to the butter, sugar and egg mixture until you have a well combined batter.
Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes reduce the temperature to 160 fan/gas mark 4/350°f and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
While the cake is in the oven make the syrup by placing the sugar and lemon juice in a pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has melted (about 1 minute) bring the mixture to a lively simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes until the liquid has thickened slightly and is bubbling on the surface. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool a bit.
Once the cake is out of the oven cool it in the tin for 10 minutes. Use a skewer or toothpick to make holes all across the surface (while the cake is still in the tin) then pour the syrup over evenly on the cake. Leave 5 minutes then turn out onto a cake plate. Cool for at least 30 minutes.
Make the icing by mixing the milk and icing sugar together and drizzle over the top of your cake. Enjoy with a cup of tea:)
Note: To make sure you get a good amount of lemon juice make sure your lemons are ripe. If you're 1 tbsp less - just top up with a tbsp of water.