Here is a recipe from the Joanne Chang's baking cookbook Flour from the bakery of the same name in Boston. I have always loved lemon poppy seed cakes and muffins and this one sounded just a little different in the ingredients and preparation. All ingredients are brought to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe - even melted butter and cream.
It was perfect with a cup of tea while enjoying a few cut daffodils from the garden.
French Lemon Poppy Seed CakeAdapted from Flour by Joanne Chang
2 cups cake flour (such as Swans Down)
(such as Swans Down) 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from approx 1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 b 5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds. If the butter starts to harden, heat the mixture gently until the butter is melted again. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a hand mixer), beat together the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 4 minutes, or until light, fluffy and lemon colored. With a hand mixer this will take twice as long.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Fold about one-fourth of the egg and flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 1 hour or until the top of the cake is golden and springs back when you press the middle. Place on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. I suggest you start testing the cake with a toothpick after 40-45 minutes as my cake was finished before the 1 hour suggested time.
Make the lemon glaze while the cake is cooling by adding just enough lemon juice to the confectioners' sugar to make an easily spreadable consistency.
When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, remove it from the pan and place it on the rack. Spoon or spread the glaze over the top of the still-warm cake, allowing the glaze to dribble down the sides of the cake.
The cake may be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.