Winter foods obviously taste different to summer fare. They also carry a particular aroma. Also evident is the distinctive difference in colours. Autumn and winter foods are naturally more earthy, with tones of amber, brown and orange-tinged reds. All of which I love, but sometimes it just gets a little dull around mid-winter, which is why Cake Friday is looking cheerfully yellow with pops of bright colour.
This dainty Bundt cake is buttery and light with a subtle balance between sweet and tart. I’m considering starting a new trend called Bundting, not to be confused with Banting people! Quite to the contrary really, but perhaps the 80/20 percent rule can be applied here, so that we can still have slice of nice every now and again.
I’ve used lemon curd in both the batter and to serve alongside the cake with a pot of softly whipped cream. If you go back into the archives, you’ll remember we made a 4-minute lemon curd, which comes in very handy for this recipe. A store-bought lemon curd also do if you’re time-strapped or not inclined towards preserving, but the flavour of homemade is authentically lemony and so worth while.
The glaze is a classic royal icing, which can be overly sweet, but it almost seals the cake and helps to keep it moist. Water icing is lighter but also transparent and doesn’t give a pristine white gloss. I add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the icing to counter the sweetness.
Lemon poppy seed cake is a quintessential teatime favourite and a reliable addition to any baker’s repertoire. The flavours are honest and simple, which is at times, the comfort and nostalgia that we seek. Serve at leisure with a cup of soothing, hot tea. Happy weekend baking!
Lemon curd poppy seed Bundt cake
125g butter, room temperature
220g castor sugar
zest of 1 lemon
30ml lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon curd
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
180g self raising flour
40g ground almonds (almond meal)
pinch of salt
120g (1/2 cup) sour cream, room temperature
1 egg white
200g (1 1/2 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Grease a Bundt tin with butter or non-stick baking spray. Place the butter and castor sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the lemon zest, juice, curd and poppy seeds, giving the mixture a quick pulse to incorporate. At this point, the butter will tend to curdle, but it’ll come together when the dry ingredients are added.
Sift the flour, ground almonds and salt together. Add the sifted flour and sour cream alternately in two stages. Mix to combine without over-beating. Spoon into the Bundt tin, smooth over and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remember that the size of your tin will determine the baking time. If the Bundt tin is x-large, the batter will be spread out thinner and possibly only require 30-35 minutes.
Allow the Bundt to cool completely before turning out. This is one of the secrets to achieving an intact and well shaped Bundt. If you turn the cake out while it’s still hot, it will stick to the base and crumble!
For the royal icing, mix the egg white, sifted sugar and lemon juice together until the glaze is smooth and glossy. The consistency should be quite thick to prevent it running off the cake. Drizzle over the cooled Bundt and decorate with lemon curd, fresh flowers and sugar dragees. Serve with whipped cream and an extra dollop of lemon curd.