Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sweets For My Sweet!

'Tis February, and love is in the air. Aptly, the theme for Meeta's Monthly Mingle is Sweet Love. Not a problem at all. Because my sweet, unlike me, does love his sweets quite ardently. A little light bulb went off in my head when I read the theme: I knew just the dessert I wanted to make. It is the sweet treat that V loves at any time of day or night, and something he prefers even to a chocolate dessert: Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake. For all the years that I have known him, V has been rather loyal about his brunch and snack comestibles: either a walnut-raisin cream cheese schmeared bagel or a lemon-poppy seed muffin.

For an equal number of years, I have been planning to make lemon-poppy seed cake and just never got around to it. In truth, it is one of the simplest cakes to make: light and citrusy, with only the addition of the crunchy black poppy seeds and a slight tang from the lemon. Now, armed with a new set of baking dishes, I was all ready to make it. A quick google search revealed this recipe on Epicurious, taken from the book The Cake Bible, and I did follow this recipe exactly.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

Recipe Source: This recipe on Epicurious.
The method was a little different from the cream-the-butter-and-sugar step that I have started dozens of cakes with. Here, the dry ingredients, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, and lemon zest were mixed together. Then, softened butter and a milk-egg-vanilla extract mixture were added and mixed in to the dry ingredients. This was a breeze with my **new hand-held mixer**, an unexpected and very thoughtful gift from Alanna!
See anything funny in the picture?
The prepared batter was poured into a greased and floured loaf pan and baked at 350 degrees F. In 50 minutes, the cake was done (a little bit over-done actually). I then spread some lemon juice-sugar glaze on it and kept it overnight before slicing it.
The verdict: The cake itself was light and very tender, just delicious. The glaze, however, made the cake unevenly soggy instead of the moist result I was looking for. Plus, the glaze was too tart. Anyway, V loved the cake, and so did the colleagues that I compelled him to share it with. Meanwhile, I shall keep looking for a recipe that I like better. I remember seeing one in a Cook's Illustrated cookbook...I'm going to hunt for that one again.

Thanks, Meeta, for hosting this event...for finally inspiring me to make a sweet treat that has been years in the making!


  1. hi . i'm sure sweet v with his sweet tooth loved it. grt work. luv, yoma.

  2. I've been making Barefoot Contessa's lemon-yogurt cake a lot recently (recipe in her newest book, or sometimes on the Food Channel's web site), and it's a completely wonderful recipe, more flavorful than many lemon cakes. You could throw in some poppyseeds, and voila!

  3. Is that you taking a picture, no less, in the steel rim of the mixer?? :)

    Looks great, the cake and you, of course!! ... lol

  4. Have been looking to buy a hand blender for some time.Yours looks good.Could you post the brand name.

  5. I'm going to try this recipe, Nupur. Love the ingredients that going into its making - lemon and poppy seeds!

    Love the glaze!!

  6. Hi Nupur, Came to ur blog thru Meeta's. I was always reluctant to try out lemon flavour in a cake and now after reading ur post,I'm all confident. The loaf looks perfect :)


  7. Nupur, First thanks for your wonderful contribution to the MM and welcome. I am really excited to have you over. With that cake my doors will always be open ;-)
    What a wonderfully delightful combination.
    PS. I see U in that blender LOL!

  8. I love lemon-poppy seed muffins too, and this is such a simple recipe! Excuse me while I go and bake myself a few slices!

  9. HAH!! I Love cakes! looks very yummy... share a slice? maybe 2.... ummm some more ,please!!

  10. beauuutifulllll.

  11. Those cake slices look so soft. I could see you with the camera:)
    What was his reaction?

  12. Oh Nupur.. I had a query... about the blog.. i mean... if u don't mind...i wanted to know how to change the buttons (or whatever one calls them) on the side.. u know.. where u hav the neat thali... just before ,About me... archive etc...

  13. I can see you in the cam too!!!! hahaha!!!

    Lovely cake.... i am always a bit reluctant to make lemon cake.... but yours seems to be great!!!!

  14. Thanks, Yoma!

    Lydia, what a great idea! I actually saw the episode where she made the lemon yogurt cake, but never thought of modifying it with poppy seeds. I need to try that very soon!

    Vee, you guessed it :) I never realized it as I was taking the picture, only much later!

    Anon, the brand name is "Sunbeam". It is very light and easy to use!

    Sailaja, hope it works well! Let me know when you try it :)

    Mishmash, thanks for stopping by :) I was hoping for that nice crease in the loaf..oh well, maybe next time.

    Meeta, it was so much fun to participate!

    Meena, 'tis true, it too just minutes to prepare. A really simple cake to bake for a quick tea-time treat!

    Manasi, sure, come and have some :)

    Jai bee, thanks!

    Hi Gini, V loved it. His delight when he walked into the kitchen and saw lemon rind and poppy seeds and cake batter was the best part :)

  15. Manasi, about the need to do a small modification in the template HTML code. Scroll down to a section that says

    .sidebar h2
    it will have background URL (some url with that tic-tac motif that you currently have).
    replace this url with the url of any picture of your choice.
    You might have to play with the numbers on the "padding" to get the picture positioned correctly in that space.
    If any of this is confusing, please mail me and i'll definitely help you out! Good luck!

  16. Hi Coffee, thanks for stopping by!

  17. Muuaaah!!! thanx sweety!!! I'll try this now!!!!

  18. Looks like my first comment didn;t make it. Cake looks wonderful. Very moist ... perfect slices

  19. Nupur,

    The blog's new look is very good and the poppy cake looks so delicious and soft..Can I have a slice please? :-)

  20. I just love lemon poppy seed cake. It's so homey and comfortable.

  21. Although I wouldn't give up chocolate forever for the lemon and poppy seed combo, I'd definitely give it a shot! Looks yummy!

  22. Very yummy looking cake . I've also tried making Lemon cake for the first time and it came out so good that I think that I am hooked to it for the rest of my life. Keep up the good work and yeah very neat ideas for Saturdays.

  23. Hi Nupur, can I use the regular white poppy seeds. Will it alter the taste?




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