I love having a reason to bake, and so this year for Mothers day I set about baking cakes for Bills mother and my grandmother (my own mother hasn't much of a sweet tooth - so she got a nice bottle of wine!).
I saw a nice recipe on This Morning and so tried it out on saturday - it was divine! The lemon zest along with mild aniseed of the basil was an amazing combination, and the crunchy poppy seeds gave it great texture. The key to this cake though is the syrup, don't leave it out - it adds the most dreamy smell to the sponge, along with making it lovely and moist. Its essential!
I made two lovely cakes, with fresh flowers for decoration and I am pleased to say they both turned out very well...! They both went down very well too, with a nice hot cup of tea and good company!
Sticky lemon drizzle and poppy seed cake (by Chef Phil Vickery)
175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
3 whole eggs, beaten
175g self raising flour
1 tbsp shredded fresh basil
Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
4 tbsp water
25g poppy seeds
For the sticky lemon topping
4 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water
6 tbsp fondant icing sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice, approx
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and line a round loose bottomed baking tin.
- Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Fold the flour into the mixture, then stir in the basil, lemon zest, water and poppy seeds. Pour mixture into the loaf tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes
- Meanwhile, make the sticky topping - heat caster sugar and 3 tbsp water in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Boil for two minutes
- Prick the hot, cooked cake using a skewer (it will have sunk, but don't worry), then pour over the sticky sugar topping
- Leave the cake in the tin until cool, then carefully lift out using the lining paper
- Mix together the fondant icing sugar and lemon juice and spoon over the cake