Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Tasties No.5

I thought it was about time to share with you another of my favourite sweet recipes.  Not least of all because this particular recipe just so happens to go fantastically well with a cup of tea (or a hot chocolate if that's more to your liking) which is nice and comforting as the darker nights start creeping up on us.

Failing that, it's also good to scoff when you need a hit of something sweet.

Ad's Lemon & Poppyseed Loaf
I've called this Ad's recipe as whenever I try and make this it tends to go a little bit wrong, be it I burn the edges or the cake sinks because I've put the syrup on to quickly and not left the loaf enough time to cool.

Please don't let this put you off, Ad just happens to have his technique sussed down to a T on this one.  The only tip I would give a nervous baker is to have all of your ingredients at room temperature before you start.

You'll need:
  • 190g unsalted butter
  • 190g plain flour
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp of poppy seeds
  • Zest on one lemon
  • 25ml of milk
  • 80g ricotta
  • A standard size loaf tin
In addition, you will need to prepare a syrup to drizzle over the loaf once it's cooked, this is made with the juice of one lemon (nothing goes to waste on my watch) and 50g of caster sugar.

To start, preheat the oven to 170 degrees.  Then lightly grease your loaf tin before dusting it with a little flour, making sure to tap out any excess.

Next, using an electric whisk, cream together your butter and sugar (this is why you need your ingredients at room temperature) until light and fluffy.

Then, one at a time, add your eggs, ensuring that you mix well between each addition and scrape down the sides.  Don't worry if it looks like it's starting to curdle at this stage, I promise you'll bring it back!

In a separate bowl, sieve together all of your dry ingredients and pop in your lemon zest and poppy seeds.  Slowly begin adding these to the creamed butter and sugar mix.  Once about half of the wet/dry ingredients have been mixed together, add in the milk before adding the remaining portion.

Once you have a nice smooth batter, add in your ricotta cheese.

Pour your batter into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. It'll look like this.
Once the loaf is out of the oven, it's time to make your syrup, simply bring the lemon juice, sugar and 100ml of water to the boil and allow it to reduce by half.  Pour this over your loaf while it is still slightly warm and allow it to soak in like so.
Another handy tip is to pour the syrup onto the loaf while it's still in the tin as this will avoid lots of sticky mess!

When you're ready to munch, the slices will be delicately dotted with your poppy seeds.
Now it's over to you, as this requires only a few basics from your baking store, I hope you'll be able to make this as a treat for friends (or yourself if like me, you don't like to share) soon.

This recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery - Cake Days book.  It's full of foolproof recipes which are definitely worth your time.


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