23 October 2008

So...how does one say

"No, Darling. I make lemon cake from scratch," without sounding like a snobbish, self-aggrandising foodish twit?

I suppose I could drop the "Darling."

Did I actually say the above? Ummm...I think so.

A wonderful and delightful friend of mine and new blogger called me up last week looking for a recipe for lemon pound cake that used lemon-flavoured gelatine powder...and I believe the above was my answer.

May I please hide behind my laptop now?

Gosh...I know certain people in my life think I'm a bit of a food snob--which I vehemently deny--but gee...the above, while not damning evidence, doesn't look very good.

Truthfully, I've only made lemon loaves with real lemons. I'd never even thought of using flavoured gelatine in a cake. I Googled it and sent her this recipe--which I think suited her needs. Heh...you learn something new every day.

But now I have a bit of a palate-worm going...lemon loaf...actually, a lemon poppyseed loaf, to be specific. To be even more specific, a lemon poppyseed loaf with cream cheese icing.

The problem with plalate-worms is they are never satisfied until they are satsified. And they can't be fooled with substitutes. In other words, a lemon drop after a sandwich won't send mine on its merry way. If anything, these pallid substitutes only anger it and make the craving even more specific.

Early on, it could disappear by virtue of getting the specific foodstuff, premade from the grocer's, made from a pouchmix or tumbled out of a gas station vending machine. But palate-worms have incredible stamina...and they seem to get stronger with each passing day...hour...minute.

Mmm....lemon poppyseed loaf. Whereas lemon-flavoured powdered gelatine is not in my pantry, lemons, poppyseeds, flour, eggs, butter and yoghurt are....well, the dry goods are in my pantry--the rest live in the refrigerator.

I have several lemon poppyseed cake recipes--some are like a light, slightly lemony angelfood, studded with seeds, while others have a heavier crumb. I settled on a slight modification of Nigella's Lemon-Syrup Loaf Cake. The result was a sunshiney crumb, soaked in glisteny, extra lemony goodness. I also decided to forego the cream cheese icing--the syrup glimmered so nicely, I didn't want to cover it up.

The palate-worm, I'm happy to say, has been sated and is off to find its next victim...

Oh...and for those of you who are wondering...yes, I made this during
the craptastic weekend, between the serrated knife incident and the fire. Yes, I wore one of those thin, surgical glove-like things, to protect my booboo from the lemon juice. Which really didn't help at all, as I clipped the end of the finger (I have small hands and even the size small gloves have too much room) and the juice worked its way in...

Lemon Poppyseed Loaf
adapted from Nigella Lawson's Lemon-Syrup Loaf Cake, from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, p13.

125g unsalted butter
175g sugar
2 eggs
1 lemon, zested and juiced
170g cake flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt
1 dspn poppyseeds
60ml plain yoghurt
75g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/375F; butter and line a 23cm/9" loaf tin with parchment and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in the poppyseeds and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and zest. Mix in the yoghurt and then fold in the flour mixture. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes.

About 20 minutes in, start making the lemon syrup by melting sugar into the lemon juice over medium-low heat.

When an inserted cake tester comes out cleanly, take the loaf out of the oven and prodigiously perforate it with your weapon of choice. Pour the syrup overtop and let it all soak in. Let the cake cool in the tin before removing it otherwise you run the risk of the cake falling apart.


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Anonymous said...

If baking from scratch makes you a food snob than let me join our club! I'll bring the Tuscan olive oil and the Himalayan salt.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I've just never understood how baking from scratch makes one a food snob, Look the pioneer women did it from scratch, were they snobs - I don't think so. No, I think it's the "darling" that does it. So if you dropped the "darling" you'll be just fine ;0)))
The lemon cake looks like it would satisfy any little worm.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Jasmine, that looks good. Don't feel bad and join the club. I bake from scratch also.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

I gues I will join you in that food snob club. But why are we snobs when we make things from scratch or buy certain ingredients - I don't get it!
Lemon + cake = luv!

Anonymous said...

I have recently fallen madly in love with lemon. It started innocently enough when I googled *lemon pound cake* and a recipe from Tartelette was the first thing that came up. Then lemon squares and tarts started showing up regularly in the kitchen. I have been playing around with mini muffins and now, this.
Sigh, my poor son may have to wait even longer for the chocolate chip cookies he has been asking for!

Srivalli said...

Oh thats really so yummy...you have a very interesting blog!...nice blog name...:)

Kristen said...

"Palate-worm": I LOVE that. That describes that gnawing feeling perfectly.

And now I want lemon poppyseed cake. From scratch, of course. ;)

Anonymous said...

I love palate-worm, too - won't be able to get that out of my mind now! The lemon poppyseed cake looks good. Hopefully we'll be able to give this a try!

Elizabeth said...

I get around sounding like a food snob (well, actually I don't - I just work myself into the mire further) by grovelling and saying apologetically, "Errrmmmm, I didn't even know that lemon cake could be made with lemon flavoured gelatine powder.".

Your lemon cake sounds wonderful, Jasmine. I hope you sent that recipe to your friend along with the one you found on google. I bet it's just as easy to make as a cake using lemon flavoured powder. And probably tastes better too.


P.S. OW!! I bet lemon juice really hurts a relatively fresh finger cut. But maybe the vitamin C is good for it?

P.P.S. Now I have a palate worm telling me that I neeeeed ginger cake with lemon glaze. But judging from my kitchen disaster today (my bread dough didn't rise....), I think I'll have to tell the worm to eat dirt. :-/

giz said...

And there's something wrong with being a food snob??? I said that in a whisper for fear of catching an egg in the head. I actually cringed at the thought of lemon juice on a boo boo...ouch.

Lemon/poppyseed is a favourite combination of mine - love it...alot.

Arlene Delloro said...

I adore lemon cake; lemon poppyseed, now you're talking romantic love! Yours looks yummy (thank heavens for conversion charts). I bake mostly from scratch, though I've added a few very good "semi-homemade" recipes for those times when the worm bites, but the larder's empty. My best friend cut off the tip of her finger this weekend, too. She posted a photo of it bandaged. I hope it's not catching.

glamah16 said...

Call me snob too. Lemon flavored gelatine powder in cake? No wonder there are so many health issues out there. Just jive me the real ingrediants.

Deeba PAB said...

Hello J my dear...form one food snob to another. You don't have to hide any more. Can you imagine that I do everything from scratch, obviously because there is no other way to go here; but it's the best & most satisfing way. I'm bookmarking this loaf; looks delicious to me! Made Nigella's chocolate fudge with walnuts yesterday. Some of her stuff is seriously good, though didnt take me anywhere near becoming a Domestic Goddess!! LOL!

Lisa Turner said...

Well, I bake from scratch too. I have this cookbook and now want to try this delicious cake. A nice autumn treat indeed!

Shaheen said...

Is backing from scratch really something for food snobs? Hmmm. I've always,always baked everything from scratch. It's so satisfying and a lot more fun when people praise the baked goodies. The poppy cake looks great. What's commonly available here are white poppy seeds. I'm going to look for the black ones and make this speckled cake.