Monday, 25 November 2013

Lemon and poppy seed cake

 I hate to quote the words of the Fresh Prince of Bel air but...... this is a story all about how I became unhealthily obsessed with a cake. For those of you who know me personally will know that I do not do cake, I know it is hard to believe because I make them all the bloomin' time, but I assure you if I had an enormous piece of chocolate cake and a plate of cheese and crackers in front of me I would take the cheese and crackers every single time. However once in a while something comes along that makes you a believer, brings meaning to the word "cake" and makes you long so hard for the crumbly goodness that you are willing to make a cake pilgrimage for over an hour just to have one sweet indulgent moment, and in that moment I understand all my husbands cake-a-betic needs. 
 This cake was originally made in a Leeds based Deli called "Salts", I have to admit that I didn't actually buy it for myself, but as the minutes ticked by and I swear the cake began to talk to me, I tore off a small crumb, not too much because this was after all someone else's cake, I flicked the crumb into my mouth and it was like an LSD moment, the whole world danced and spun around me and all I could see was a lemony hue of cakey loveliness, that was when I decided I didn't much like the person I had bought the cake for anyway and I wolfed it down, besides the love affair with Salts Lemon drizzle cake lasted longer and brought me more happiness anyway. The thing is, it is almost sticky, moist, tart but not to tart, just how it should be. When I met my husband I introduced him to my other love of my life and despite my husband not being the biggest fan of citrus he absolutely adored it. Then a couple of years ago the world came crashing down on me and life  stopped making sense, SALTS HAS CEASED! So that was it, do I live with my love as a distant memory or do I figure out this recipe once and for all? It has taken countless batches of lemon cake, sometimes I wanted to throw the towel in but i'm glad I didn't because this recipe is the S***! Lemon Lovers enjoy!

Lemon Drizzle Cake

150g softened butter
200g caster sugar
100g golden marzipan
100g ground almonds
2 tsp of lemon extract
1 tsp of almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
the zest of two large unwaxed lemons
150g self raising flour
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
For the topping:
200g icing sugar
Juice of two lemons
1 tsp of lemon extract
2 tsp of poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. Either grease and line a 20cm by 20cm cake tin or use a silicone mould as shown.
Cream together the softened butter and sugar, this can be done with a hand whisk. Add the vanilla and marzipan, the whisks will break down the marzipan but you will need a little patience, add the eggs whisking in one at a time, add the almonds, salt, poppy seeds, lemon extract, vanilla extract and almond extract. Finally sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold in until just combined. Decant the mixture into your chosen baking tin and cook for 25-30 minutes or until you can insert a skewer into the middle and it comes out clean, set aside and allow to cool.
Meanwhile mix the lemon juice, extract and icing sugar together until smooth, spoon onto the cooled cake and then top with the poppy seeds.

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