Monday, 18 August 2008

Lemon Poppyseed Cake...with a dollop of Quark and "rips" (norwegian for redcurrants)

Sundays are meant to be relaxing. A time to recalibrate, catch up with family or friends, walk the dog, go to the cinema, an exhibition, or even shopping (my least-favourite activity in the world - seriously). These are things perfectly sane people do on a Sunday, however I decided to do a stock-take of my kitchen cupboard as various items such as jars of pesto and bags of sugar kept falling on my head every time the cupboard door was ajar. Infuriating to say the least, and I'm easily ired, so I spent a couple of serene hours listening to Magic FM, whilst scrubbing the inside of the cupboard, re-organising all the jars of pesto and bags of sugar and then suddenly it occurred to me that I am in possession of far too much food. The mission for Sunday? Use up the remnants of the following: poppyseeds, ground almonds, polenta (uncooked), couple of lemons, etc. There's so much brown sugar in my cupboard that later this week will see a cornucopia of cookies, ginger cake and brown sugar oat & apricot muffins in the scandilicious kitchen...Oh, and I wrote down all the items in the cupboard which will go up as the official cupbopard stock-list on the inside of the door. Clearly I need to get out more. 

This lemony cake is akin to an American-style cornbread, which needs something like quark, or greek yoghurt to go with it (or lashings of butter if you're so inclined). If by chance you're feeling peckish on a Sunday, this is an extremely easy wheat-free cake to throw together - gluten-free, though not dairy-free as you'll see, especially with the extra dollop of quark on the side as evinced in the photo, one step at a time folks... 

  • 180g polenta (cornmeal)
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 100g melted butter
  • 100g Quark
  • 2 eggs
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
You'll need to lightly oil a 20cm round cake tin. Preheat oven to 180ºC

Place all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and blend together to distribute the raising agents 

In a small bowl, using a fork mix the eggs with the quark and zest & juice of lemon. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add this to the well, blending in with the melted butter, until the mix is even. Spoon into cake tin and bake on the centre shelf for 45 minutes...

Serve with a dollop of either quark or fromage frais. For a more indulgent treat serve with creme fraiche or vanilla-whipped cream...I also squeezed the juice of one more lemon on top of the cake for a bit of zinginess!


Claire said...

Really liked this, but I played with it (of course!) by using low fat creme fraiche (couldn't find quark) and extra lemon instead of poppy seeds. Would need a little more lemon, but a great recipe! Will be trying this one again!

Signe Johansen said...

Pleased you liked it Claire! Notice on your healthier eating blog that you have an interest in gluten-free baking, something I'm actually researching at the moment. Tricky making gluten-free bread which is chewy and soft-textured, much easier to make cakes and biscuits gluten-free!
BTW, other ingredients which might work with this lemon cake are fennel or star anise (instead of the poppyseed)...happy baking! Sig