It's a strange thing when the magazine editors decide to declare Spring has arrived. The message is shouted loud and clear from every bookstore, magazine stand and supermarket checkout line in town. It's impossible to ignore the fabulous colors and cover stories announcing the latest in everything from Spring fashion to haircuts to the best garden party brunch dishes. It's official, Spring IS here! Except, of course, that it isn't...
Like this week in London for instance. The sky remains a very dull grey covered in those endlessly heavy clouds that seem to follow you everywhere, threatening rain at a moment's notice. (And more often than not, delivering on those threats.) Spring may have arrived in other parts of the world, but London has most certainly not gotten the memo.
That said, the cheery colors and reminders of the bright sunny days ahead have put me in the mood to get a jump start on the season. It may not yet feel like Spring, but there's no reason it can't taste like it!
I've made no secret of my love of lemons and I'm happy to find a way to bake them into any form of sugary perfection known to man. However it must be said, this might be one of the best recipes I've come across in a long time. The cake is a perfect texture and remains moist and delicious even several days after baking (assuming of course you have better willpower than we do!)
ZESTY LEMON POPPYSEED CAKE
3 Tbsp whole milk
2 tspn vanilla extract
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
13 Tbsp butter
1 Tbspn freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp poppyseeds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the cake mold and set aside. *In this case, I used 8 individual mini-loaf tins for individualized servings.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a mixing bowl, use your fingers and mash the lemon zest into the sugar. Add the butter and cream together on medium to medium high until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
5. Add the wet and dry ingredients in three stages to the butter, alternating wet and dry. Mix until combined.
6. Fold in the poppyseeds until evenly distributed through the batter.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes total. **For the miniature tins, reduce baking time by about 10 minutes. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Remove from oven and let cool, turning the cake out onto a wire rack after about ten minutes. Let cool completely.
for the glaze:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp water
juice of 1/2 large lemon (use slightly more if you prefer a very zesty icing)
zest of 1 lemon
1. Mix together the powdered sugar and the lemon juice.
2. Add in the lemon zest. Mix until combined.
3. Pour the glaze over the pound cakes. Let dry, preferably overnight.