Poppy seeds, as used in cakes, have a somewhat unique texture. Either you love it or you hate it. If you’re not a poppy seed fan then look away but otherwise here’s a great bake in which to use them.
The inspiration for this cake came from a recipe for orange and poppy seed cake in the book 500 Delicious Delights by Rachel Carter.
I had a surplus of lemons in the house, yet no oranges, so lo and behold I adapted it. What resulted was a gorgeous cake which looks good enough to serve up at a gathering, yet simple enough to whip up relatively quickly.
For the cake
300 g self-raising flour
200 g margarine
180 g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (about 50 ml)
150 ml milk
1 tsp baking powder
55 g poppy seeds
For the syrup
4 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Some shredded lemon peel
Step 1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease a 3 pint (1.7 litre) ring tin and line with a ring of greaseproof paper around the bottom.
Step 2. Cream the sugar and margarine. Add the eggs one by one, with a scoop of flour and beat in.
Step 3. Stir in the lemon zest and the poppy seeds.
Step 4. Add the remainder of the flour and baking powder and fold in (with a spatula is ideal).
Step 5. Add the milk and lemon juice and stir in.
Step 6. Transfer the mixture into a 3 pint ring tin and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
Step 7. Leave the cake in the tin for a few minutes, before turning out and leaving to cool.
Step 8. Make the syrup by heating the sugar and lemon juice, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. (Be patient as this may be about 5 minutes).
Step 9. Spoon the warm syrup over the cake and top with strips of lemon zest.