Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Yoghurt Cake

Yes you read that right. It's poppy seed, from a poppy plant. Duh! Haha I think I know what you are thinking. Do not be alarmed because these poppy seeds do not contain any narcotic properties and it's definitely safe for consumption. These small little things are deformed in shape and slightly a tad blue in colour but yet it has a crisp texture and nutty flavour. Mostly, they are used as garnishes or spices in food.
If you may ask, what is so good about these poppyseeds?
  • Poppy seeds are good for quenching thirst, curing fever, inflammation, constipation and irritation of abdomen.
  • Poppy seeds are one of the necessary ingredients in many cooling medicines.
  • Poppy seeds act as a supply of daily dose of minerals like iodine, manganese, zinc, magnesium and copper.
  • The oil from poppy seeds plant is useful in treating carcinoma (the most common type of cancer in humans) as it contains monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Poppy seeds add flavour and texture to breads, cookies, muffins, cakes and other foods.
  • Poppy seeds are often used as an Ayurvedic medicine where they are grounded into a paste with milk to form a skin-renewing moisturizer.
  • Poppy seeds contain Linoleic acid that is beneficial in preventing heart disorders and abdomen conditions.
  • Poppy seeds have a decent supply of fatty acids that are needed for the body’s physiological state. They are found to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Poppy seeds also are used as narcotics to treat pain-related conditions. They’re utilized in treating respiratory disorders, infectious diseases, diarrhoea and sleep disorders.
  • Poppy seeds relatively contain lower quantity of alkaloids and are used in the treatment of various nerve disorders.
  • Poppy seeds are a wonderful beauty aid for skin as well as hair.
  • Poppy seeds are effective in treating eczema due to their high content of linolenic acid. They can be soaked in water or milk and can be ground along with lime juice to form a smooth paste. Applying this paste externally helps in treating burning sensation and skin itchiness. It also acts as an effective pain killer by relieving the pain caused by skin inflammation.
  • Poppy seeds also act as a good moisturizer where its paste provides you with smooth and soft skin. All you need to do is put some poppy seeds in a spice hand grinder and add some milk to it. If you have dry skin, you can also add some honey. Grind into a smooth paste and apply it all over your face. Relax for 10 minutes and then wash off. Doing this once in a week will provide a fragile transparency to your skin.
  • Poppy seeds also can be used as a scrub for clear skin where you mix 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds with curd. Rub it gently on clean face and neck in circular motions, massaging for 10 minutes. Then wipe off your face with a cotton ball and wash off as usual. This will provide you with a clear and glowing complexion.
  • Poppyseed also help to air hair problems like dandruff, hair loss, thinning hair, split ends and alopecia. As a result of problems ranging from harsh chemical treatments and exposure to pollution to inadequate nutrition and prolonged illness, poppy seeds are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids as well as minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium which contribute to healthy hair.
For more benefits, you may check this, this or that. With so much benefits, I think it's good to have cake with poppyseed already ;)

This recipe is adapted from Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Yoghurt Cake. See my modifications in blue.


187g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
245g plain yoghurt
300g caster sugar, divided
3 extra large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
109g vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 
For the glaze:

225g 75g icing sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into one bowl.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the yoghurt, 225g 150g sugar, the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract together. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 75g sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
  8. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on the baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool. I omitted these two steps as I don't really like my cake to be soaked wet, personal preference for me. But if you like it, do it by all means :)
  9. For the glaze, combine the icing sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake. 

 I love the crusty brown look the loaf cake turned out to be. See how pretty it looks below.

 If you are thinking like me, I was already curious on how the cake would look like inside. See the peekture below. I love the speckled look of it already :)

 The cake tastes moist, flavourful and healthy too. Try it if you are looking for an easy peasy cake. You don't even need to bring out your mixer :) What a great way to not do alot and have nice cake!
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