Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins
This is a deliciously moist and tangy cake, speckled with a blizzard of poppy seeds. It keeps really well, too, if you're the self-restrained sort. Makes one 9in/23cm cake. From UK newspaper the guardian.
- 6 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ounces poppy seeds
- 2 large lemons, zest
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 6 ounces superfine sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 6 ounces plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the syrup
- 2 large lemons, juice
- 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 lemon, zest pared off with vegetable peeler and cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for sifting
- Heat the oven to 180C/350°F Butter a 9in/23cm springform cake tin and dust with flour.
- Sieve together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Stir in the poppy seeds and lemon zest. Beat together the butter and 4 1/2oz of sugar until light and fluffy. In a jug, whisk together the egg yolks, yoghurt and vanilla.
- In a very clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar a spoonful at a time, beating until the meringue mix holds stiff peaks.
- Beat the flour mixture and the egg mixture alternately into the butter and sugar, starting and ending with the flour (ie, flour/eggs/flour/eggs/flour). Stir about a third of the meringue mixture into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest. Spoon the cake mix into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Combine the juice, sugar and zest in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for two minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Take the cake out of the oven and spike all over the top with a skewer. Pour the syrup over, letting it trickle over the top and down the sides. Leave to cool in the tin, then dust with icing sugar before serving.