Friday, January 25, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I have bought a new lens for my very basic DSLR, the 50mm/f1.8 lens and being the amateur food photographer that I am for my blog, I have fallen in love with it; which is not unusual as a I have a long list of love affairs with my gadgets (including my smartphone and my laptops). Every gadget I own is very near and dear to my heart. I am not familiar with many big words of digital photography as I am learning my ropes yet, but I love what I see when I use the 50mm/f1.8 lens. It is an inexpensive lens when compared to the the pricier lenses. So I come here with the first recipe I photographed with this lens for my blog, others I had done for Baker's Canvas as a home business.

I have my eyes on this cake for long. The only thing stopping me form achieving the goal was lack of ingredients. If I had lemons, I didn't have poppy seeds. If I had poppy seeds, they weren't clean. If I had poppy seeds, I didn't have lemons, or eggs, or cake flour or some other crucial ingredient. Today, finally I had all the ingredients, so I didn't waste any time and made the lemon poppy seed cake.

I have seen many picture of poppy seed cakes with black poppy seeds. Mine were brown and beige and I was sceptical about the results. On one hand the poppy seeds weren't as visible as their darker counterparts, but I think the taste was there, so was the slight crunch that come with the presence of tiny seeds in the cake. The picture has tiny brown flecks, which you may see on close inspection. These would be prominent if darker poppy seeds are used.


1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
Zest of one lemon
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp poppy seeds

1 cup icing sugar
2 - 3 tbsp leon juice


Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C.

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt). Beat together sugar and oil in a separate bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour and milk to egg mixture alternatingly in two additions. Beat well to incorporate. Fold lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds with a rubber spatula. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes or until done. The time may vary, mine took 45 minutes. Remove from oven cool.

Put the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Put the bowl over boiling water and mix to prepare a runny glaze. Pour hot glaze over the cake, and allow it to drip on the sides of the cake. Let the glaze set before serving. Happy baking!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Date Pudding

Hello blog, and hey my blog readers. It has been a long time since I came up with something to post. Now that I am on vacations, I plan to be a bit regular. I tried something new today, a date pudding. Dates are healthy and nutritious and putting them into a dessert makes the dessert nutritious too. We'll decide on the healthy part after the recipe and taste test ;).

It is kind of cold in my city of desi land. The temperature drops to 11 or 12 C, and seems like it is 2 or C (ok, ok, I have a superactive imagination). Comfort food is a craving. You can make this pudding to satisfy this nagging craving. It is great way to mark the end of the dinner, or to satisfy your sweet tooth. Leave the excuses aside, this pudding is a must try at least once, just for the sake of it.

This recipe is adapted from the book "Sticky and Steamed Puddings" by Confident Cooking.


3/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup boiling water
50g of butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup sugar
10 g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
2/3 cup water


Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Grease a deep oven proof dish, around 1.5 L capacity. Set the dish aside.

In a bowl sprinkle baking soda over dates and pour boiling water over it. Set aside to cool. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift flour and baking powder together, and then fold in the egg mixture with the dates. Stir until just combined and pour into the prepared dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until done.

While the pudding is cooking, prepare the syrup. Put sugar, butter, vanilla, and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. When pudding is done, take it out of the oven, prick with a fork in a few places and pour the syrup over the pudding. Return to oven for 5 minutes, and allow the syrup to soak in the pudding. Serve with cream or ice cream. Happy baking!!!