Lemon Poppy Pound Cake.



We officially greeted spring at this part of the world but unfortunately we are still having some very cold days, hopefully, these are the last few days of the persistent winter. With that being said the very thought of spring and summer flushed my mind with lemony flavors and brought back so many memories of lemon flavored cakes and foods that contain a squeeze of lemon or lots of it! While desperately waiting for some spring warmth and sunshine I decided to try my hands on a Lemon Poppy pound cake, a good excuse to finish a few fresh lemons lying in my refrigerator and also to inaugurate my recent purchase, a 9"x5" loaf pan. This particular bake was long pending on my baking wishlist because I had heard lots of good things about this cake from my friends and since then I was looking for a perfect recipe that's not only visually enticing but equally delicious. Needless to say, I liked none that were floating on the web, fortunately, one morning while sipping my piping hot black coffee I stumbled upon this fantastic recipe on NewYork Times website and I instantly knew that I have to bake it soon.


 

After gathering all my wet and dry ingredients together I realized that my recipe called for black poppy seeds whereas my pantry is always stocked up with white poppy seeds ( Indian cooking especially regional recipes from the state of West Bengal calls for lots of white poppy seeds), fortunately, after a little bit of searching I managed to find one small bottle of black poppy seeds in my husbands repertoire of spices, thanks to my husband or should I call him Mr. M ? , this bottle was purchased by him a long time back, yes you got it right he loves to cook food, he loves to explore world cuisine, he loves to experiment with recipes, creates his very own recipes and equally loves to eat. He is an excellent cook. Oh! how I love him for this talent. Ok so lots of bragging about Mr. M , let's back to the cake again.....
The lemon poppy pound cake is baked with extra virgin olive oil and this particular ingredient added that extra bit of richness and aroma to the cake. Oh! how I love the mellow flavor of the extra virgin olive oil, it's total bliss. In this recipe, I also omitted the vanilla essence and I am very happy that I did. Yes, I am serious and it did not smell like eggs at all. The essential oils from the lemon zest infused a lemony fragrance and disguised the smell of the eggs.

Here's the recipe for a lovely fragrant cake with the sporadic crunch of black poppy seeds, it's moist and has a wonderful texture. Bake it for your family and friends and do share your thoughts in the comment section below, I will be so glad to hear how yours turned out. We enjoyed every bite of it with our black coffee hope you will love it too. Happy baking!

Recipe: From New York Times.

Ingredients:
Butter for greasing Pan.
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.
Zest of two lemons.
1 cup sugar.
1/2 cup buttermilk.
3 tbsp + 4 tbsp lemon juice.
3 large eggs.
1 1/2 tsp baking powder.
1/4 tsp baking soda.
1/4 kosher salt or sea salt.
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil.
1 tbsp poppy seeds.
1/2 confectioners' sugar.

PREPARATION: 

*Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease the loaf pan with butter and dust it with flour.
*In a bowl combine the zest of two lemons and sugar and rub with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. The essential oils from the lemon zest will help the sugar to have the consistency of wet sand. Whisk in the buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and eggs.
*In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. whisk dry ingredients into the wet ingredients then whisk in extra virgin olive oil and poppy seeds.
*Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 55 mins to 1 hour.
*Let cool in pan until warm to the touch. Then carefully turn the cake onto a baking rack.
*Prepare the lemon sugar glaze. whisk together remaining 4 teaspoons lemon juice and the confectioners' sugar. Use a pastry brush to spread the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Cool it before slicing.

Tips that experience taught me :

*Use the zest of fresh lemons and take advantage of the fragrant essential oils.
*Do not skip on the rubbing part ( sugar + lemon zest)
*Use extra virgin olive oil for that added richness and flavor.
*Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients.
*Grease and dust your pan, you will thank yourself later. This will prevent your cake from breaking and splitting while popping it out from the pan.


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