Recipe: Lemon and Poppyseed Cake aka the Dawn-Bake

28 May
Morning world!

This morning I was in Stepford Wife mode. Up with the larks, watching the world wake-up, baking at 7am. I was making a cake for my colleague’s breakfast tea and I wasn’t about to let a slight 2-day hangover, morning dizziness and my overwhelming natural laziness stop me.

For one thing, the recipe, isn’t mine, but was swiped from the Times website except I, obviously, didn’t have all of the ingredients to hand. So here’s what I did:
To buy:
*100ml milk   *3tbsp poppyseeds   *150g butter   *150g caster sugar   *½tsp vanilla extract   *3 eggs, separated   *150g plain flour   *1tsp baking powder   *Small pinch salt   *1tbsp finely grated lemon zest  and then for the topping: *70g caster sugar and *30ml lemon juice
To make:
1. Heat oven to 180C/Gas 4 andbring the milk to the boil, add the poppy seeds and set aside to cool.
2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy, then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well. 
3. Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and salt, then fold in the lemon zest, milk and poppy seeds.
4. Beat the egg whites until peaky, and fold through the mixture.
5. Pour into a buttered and floured 20cm diameter high-sided cake tin and bake for 40 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. 
6. To make the topping, stir the sugar and lemon juice into a paste. While still hot, brush the cake with the sugar paste, then leave in the tin to cool.
I ended up being in a *little* bit of a rush for work, so hurriedly packed the cake in some tuppawear and struggled on the bus to Sloane Square. The cake was still hot by the time I traipsed into the office and warm by the time we all tucked in. It was really not a bad effort. But don’t take my words for it. The proof in the pudding was in the empty plate and my sated colleagues. 

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