Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake and When Life Deals You Lemons Bake A Lemon Cake!

This is one of my very favorite cakes! There is nothing that compares with the rich lemon taste!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
My adaption from a recipe in Epicurious September 1988 by Rose Levy Beranbaum

All ingredients should be at room temperature.
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
3 large eggs (scant 5 fluid ounces = 5.25 ounces = 150 grams, weighed without shells)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring (6 grams)
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (5.25 ounces = 150 grams)
3/4 cup sugar (5.25 ounces = 150 grams)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (3.7 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon loosely packed grated lemon zest (6 grams)
4 tablespoons poppy seeds (1 ounce = 28 grams)
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, must be softened (6.5 ounces = 184 grams)

Lemon Syrup:
1/4 + 2 tablespoons sugar (2.75 ounces = 75 grams)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 ounces = 63 grams)
1 teaspoon of poppyseeds

One 8-inch by 4-inch by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan (4 cups) — most attractive size — or any 6-cup loaf or fluted tube pan, greased and floured. If using a loaf pan, grease it, line the bottom with parchment or wax paper, and then grease again and flour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl lightly combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest and poppy seeds, and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend.

Add the butter and half the egg mixture.

Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the cake's structure.

Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. The batter will be almost 1/2 inch from the top of a 4-cup loaf pan. (If your pan is slightly smaller, use any excess batter for cupcakes.)

Bake 55 to 65 minutes (35 to 45 minutes in a fluted tube pan) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cover loosely with buttered foil after 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.

To get an attractive split down the middle of the crust, wait until the natural split is about to develop (about 20 minutes) and then with a lightly greased sharp knife or a single-edged razor blade make a shallow mark about 6 inches long down the middle of the cake. This must be done quickly so that the oven door does not remain open very long or the cake will fall. When cake splits, it will open along the mark.

Shortly before the cake is done, prepare the Lemon Syrup:

In a small pan over medium heat, stir the sugar and lemon juice until dissolved. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke the cake all over with a wire tester, and brush it with 1/2 the syrup.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a spatula and invert it onto a greased wire rack.

Poke the bottom of the cake with the wire tester, brush it with some syrup, and reinvert onto a greased wire rack.

Brush the sides with the remaining syrup and allow to cool before wrapping airtight.

Store 24 hours before eating to give the syrup a chance to distribute evenly.

The syrup will keep the cake fresh a few days longer than a cake without syrup.

Note:This cake is very attractive made in individual portions. A 6-cake Bundt-lette pan is the perfect size. This recipe will make 6 individual cakelettes, which require about 20 minutes to bake.

Finished Height: In a 4-cup loaf: 2 1/4 inches at the sides and 3 1/2 inches in the middle. In a 6-cup loaf: 1 3/4 inches at the sides and 2 1/2 inches in the middle. In a 6-cup fluted tube: 2 1/4 inches in the middle.

Store: Airtight: 3 days room temperature, 1 week refrigerated, 2 months frozen.

Complementary Adornment: A simple dusting of powdered sugar.

Serve: Room temperature.

Pointers for Success:
Use cake flour that does not already contain leavening. Do not use self-rising cake flour.
Use superfine sugar for finest texture.
Use fresh baking powder.
Measure or weigh ingredients carefully.
If using a hand-held mixer, beat at high speed.
Use the correct pan size.
For very even layers and maximum height use Magi-Cake Strips.
Check for accurate oven temperature.
Use correct baking time; do not overbake.
Be sure to use a wooden toothpick to test for doneness. The cake will spring back when pressed lightly in the center even before it is done. If the cake is underbaked, it will have tough, gummy spots instead of a fine, tender crumb.

When life deals you lemons bake Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake and ENJOY!

In real life, RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE and WINNERS many times face tough challenges. Life is not easy for anyone, but success makes life even tougher for winners. When a WINNER wins and when a RIGHTEOUS PERSON is righteous, it seems that people arise seemingly from nowhere to make fun of them or to conspire to keep them from winning. People who are enemies will join together with the common goal of striking down a WINNER.

Yet in spite of this phenomenon, WINNERS continually come out on top. And RIGHTEOUS people seem to continue to be more successful at being more righteous.

I have a very close friend who has lived through one of the toughest times of her life in the last several years. My friend is a wonderful Christian, she reads her Bible and she prays daily. She studies and she is devoted to the Lord. She is known by many people as a very strong Christian. She is merciful, she is given to hospitality, she is caring and she is a giver. She is successful at her job, she writes, she teaches, her home is spotless, she has good health, she is beautiful, she is an excellent cook and she is a talented crafter.

This Christian woman seemingly has everything going for her, EXCEPT that her family is in shambles. None of her children communicate with her. Her husband ran off with another woman, her daughter is involved in drug and alcohol abuse. One of her children married is involved in a same sex relationship while married and with small children still at home. This adult child stays out drinking until all hours of the night and drives home drunk, mocking death and statistics.

I have never known any man or woman that fasts and prays for their family and for other families like she prays. She is one of those people that when you need to know for sure that someone is praying for you, you call her, because she doesn’t just say she will pray, she really does pray.

As part of my New Year’s resolution, I decided to carefully look at her situation and the situation of several others that I know who are going through comparable circumstances and try to make sense of what is happening to them. I decided to really search the Bible to try to find out why!
Why is it that their children whom they love with all their hearts, have become evil and wicked to them?

Why is it that their children don’t call them for Christmas, Valentines, their birthday or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day?

Why is it that these godly men and women have been shoved out of their family’s lives like they are pieces of trash?

And further more why is it that in the midst of the pain inflicted on them by the ones they love the most, why is it that they continue to be successful? How do they get out of bed in the morning?

What is it about these people that cause them to excel at everything they put their hands to do?
The fact is that no matter what they are dealt in life, no matter how other people conspire against them, they consistently are WINNERS at everything they do in life. They must be hurting, yet they selflessly continue to give unconditional love.

I determined that the first thing I needed to study was the condition of the people who were making it their life’s goal to hurt my friends. Could I and would I find anyone in the Word of God who made others miserable for the fun of it.

It didn’t take long for me to remember Able. His brother Cain killed him in a jealous rage, because Able did the right thing and Cain couldn’t stand for it.

Then I remembered Joseph. His brother’s sold him into slavery because he heard from the Lord in dreams and they didn’t like what he heard.

Then I remembered Elijah. He slept in a dried up creek bed and ate food that ravens brought to him for several years, because he spoke the Word of the Lord and made people so angry they wanted to kill him.

Then I remembered Jesus. Who came as a perfect man, the son of God, did nothing wrong, but was crucified and why? Because he made people feel bad, because they didn’t agree with what He said taught.

What was it about Cain that made it necessary for him to do his own thing instead of obeying the rules? And why did he get so mad at Able when all Able was doing was obeying the rules? How can anyone be so jealous of someone doing the right thing that they are willing to kill?

What was it about Joseph that made his brothers so angry? What was their personality that they could allow their father to suffer for so many years, not telling him the truth? How could they do what they did and justify it in their minds?

When it became obvious that Elijah had heard from the Lord, because it didn’t rain, why did the king still want to kill him? Why didn’t the king repent and seek the Lord?

I realize that the difference between my friends’ inadequate efforts to restore their families and their amazing success in other areas of life is their walk with God. The Lord is unequivocally on their side, working behind the scenes, helping them to emerge as champions in other areas of their lives. Perhaps the Lord gives them the grace to succeed at other things where the disappointment of their loved ones actions will not cause them to lose all hope.

As I have studied the Word of God regarding this subject for the last week (since New Years, regarding this subject, I have seen that, even when life’s circumstances are stacked against them, these saints realize that God is with them, and inevitably they prosper. God is always available to help people who call on Him.

To be continued…


  1. WOW do you know me? It seems like you are writing about me. My husband hit 50 and went nuts. He has turned the kids (now adults) against me. I have tried to do the best I can, but nothing seems to be good enough for him. His new girlfrind can do nothing wrong. I am waiting to hear more.

  2. The Poppy Seed Cake is WONDERFUL! Thanks! The Busy Bee

  3. Finally tried the cake recipe. It is excellent the empty cake plate is the proof.