lemon blueberry and poppyseed cake

This too is based on my basic sponge cake recipe (3 eggs, c.150g sugar, 250mL/g fat, 350g flour plus leavening agent and flavourings etc). If you need to make a smaller one e.g., a traditional sized loaf such as a lemon drizzle type one, knock back the quantities by one third. That’ll be 2 eggs instead of 3, 80g of sugar instead of 120g and so on…. Do check the photos below to see both versions.

Here I fuse two flavour combinations I enjoy: lemon and blueberry, on the one hand, and lemon and poppyseed on the other. You may notice from my other posts that I buy most of my vegetables and fruit from Ridley Rd Market (opposite Dalston/Kingsland Rd overground station) – compared to supermarket or corner shop prices, the prices are very low. I’d never pay the full whack of £2.99 for 250g of berries – whenever I’ve bought blueberries at this market, it’s usually a 2 or even 3 punnets for a £1. Anyone living around north east or central London should check out the market between Tuesday – Saturday.

Ingredients

  • c.350g SR flour
  • 3 eggs – separate whites from yolks and whisk
  • pinch of salt
  • 120g sugar
  • 1/3 of a tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • c. 250mL vegetable oil or 250g butter (NB., I use olive oil in my cakes as I enjoy the aroma and texture. Otherwise, I use butter, again, for the taste, or plain rapeseed oil (cheap vegetable oil) simply to add the necessary fat to the cake).
  • c. 200mL yoghurt or buttermilk – I enjoy using both in recipes, and I probably use one or the other in most if not all cakey/spongey stuff I prepare.
  • the juice and zest of two lemons (and perhaps a drop or two of lemon essence as I find the lemoniness dissipates when baked/processed – it’s usually fine in things like unbaked cheesecakes).
  • few drops of vanilla extract (NB., I use vanilla pod scrapings, essence, or extract depending on what’s to hand)
  • 300g blueberries – fine to use frozen or fresh – if you are using frozen, do not thaw. Make sure you have dusted whatever type of blueberry you use with lots of flour to stop them from going all the way to the bottom of the cake tin.
  • 50g or 4 tbsp poppyseeds
Calorific value: total Kcal (calorie) content: c.4660 / 12 pieces = 390 Kcals or /8 = 590 Kcals. You cut down on saturated fats if you use vegetable oils instead of butter or any other animal fats.
Method
  1. Whisk egg whites with a tiny pinch of salt and set aside
  2. Grease and lightly dust a 23 cm/9 inch round cake tin (NB., I use a silicon one as the heat distributes better avoiding a crispy cake crust)
  3. Cream the egg yolks with the sugar and add the vanilla – don’t rush this stage – beat to a pale mix with a very creamy consistency – the more you beat at this stage, the lighter and fluffier the cake will turn out
  4. add the fat and incorporate well – beat some more; again, don’t rush this, it does improve the sponge – add the zest
  5. add buttermilk/yoghurt and lemon juice
  6. add dries progressively – it may result in a stiff batter – if necessary loosen with some milk (NB., at this stage you need to work quickly to get it in the oven as the BP and BS interact with the buttermilk/yoghurt and lime/lemon juices)
  7. carefully fold in the egg whites to ensure you don’t knock out the air
  8. return to the greased and dusted cake tin; scatter a 1/3 of the blueberries on the base, cover with some cake batter, add the second 1/3 of blueberries, and some more batter, and finish with the final lot of blueberries and the remaining batter
  9. bake at c. 175C for 45-55 minutes – check with skewer or knife whether the cake’s cooked properly say at the 40 minute stage
  10. let to cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy when it’s fully cooled. I usually have it the next day and find that I most enjoy citrusy moist desserts like this one when they’re chilled.
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