A cake is a wonderful thing to have around and depending on which one you make, it can serve as dessert one night and breakfast the following morning… Killing two birds with one rather delicious stone, so to speak. I saw a lemon poppy seed loaf cake in a coffee shop recently and thought I should make one. What's great about this cake is that between the poppy seeds, the lemon and the yoghurt in the batter, it doesn't feel like a guilt-inducing cake, not that I ever feel guilty for eating cake, but you know what I mean. This one feels like it earns its place on the table any time of day for its nourishment, not to mention incredible flavor! This cake is quite simple to make as far as cakes go and tastes particularly delicious when it's nice and warm.
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
60 ml vegetable oil
25g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
1 egg white
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fat free plain Greek yoghurt
150g plain flour
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 20cm x 13cm loaf tin with baking parchment. If you find it difficult to keep it in the pan, try securing the sides on the rim of the pan with clothes pins until you poor in the batter. Set aside.
2. Place the poppy seeds on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the oil, sugar and butter to a medium bowl and combine using a hand mixer until the mixture resembles dry, sugary crumbs. Add the egg white and eggs to the mixture one at a time, mixing well in between.
4. Beat in the lemon zest.
5. In a separate container (I like to just use the measuring jug I've used to measure the yoghurt) lightly whisk together the baking soda and yoghurt. It will increase in size and puff up.
6. In a separate bowl, stir together the polenta with the flour until they are combined with a wire hand whisk.
7. Alternate folding the polenta mixture and the yoghurt mixture into the sugar & egg mixture bit by bit, finishing with the polenta mixture at the end.
8. Finally, fold in the toasted poppy seeds.
9. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula across the top. Remove your clothes pins if you've used them and bake for 55 minutes or until a spaghetti noodle inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
10. Cool for about 15 minutes and then gently remove the cake from the loaf tin using the edges of the parchment paper and transfer to a plate. Gently remove the paper out from under the cake and serve either warm or completely cooled.