The reason many recipes only advise a single lemon is because the acid in the lemon will start to "cook" the raw egg on contact. My advice is use as much zest as your palate demands, but finely grate the zest first and cover with clingfilm. Mix up the cake batter and at the last moment, scrape in the citrus strands and fold them in quickly before pouring the batter into your tin. This mixture doesn't like to sit about for long, so get your skates on and get these babies in the oven as soon as you can. It's no great feat as they are as fairly effortless to whip up.
Citrus and Poppyseed Cake
Makes 24 fairy cakes, 12 cupcakes or 1 loaf
Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C Fan) and line your muffin tray with paper cases or grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
4 oz/ 100 g soft, unsalted butter
6 oz/ 150 g caster sugar
6 oz/ 150 g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
4 tbsp milk
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange.
1 - 2 tbsp poppyseeds
Juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange.
4 oz/ 100 g caster sugar.
- Place all the ingredients, except the zest and poppyseeds, into a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk (if you have one) for a couple of minutes.
- Fold in the zest and poppyseeds and spoon the mixture into paper cases or pour into a loaf tin.
- Bake on the centre shelf for 10 minutes for fairy cakes, 12-15 minutes for cupcakes and 25-30 minutes for a loaf, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- While the cakes are in the oven, mix the citrus juices and sugar in a bowl or jug, ready to use later.
- Place the cakes on wire racks and stab their tops with a cake tester and spoon over the citrus syrup while the cakes are still hot and in their tins.
- Once cooled, turn the cakes and they're ready to serve. Enjoy.