Wednesday, 1 April 2015

La La La La.....Lemon



Do you remember Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street?  Of course you do unless you were raised by wolves/on a desert island/on the moon. Who doesn’t love Bert and Ernie?

The La La La Song is one of my many favourite interactions between them. Bert is trying to think of something to do with the letter L and Ernie suggests a sort of La La La song. Bert is a muppet after my own heart with his love for the beauty of the ordinary word, his paperclip collection and oatmeal. He also adores pigeons and is fascinated by how they walk (he invented a whole dance called Doin’ the Pigeon)  despite most people thinking they are vermin. His favourite number is  6 and he is president of the National Association of W Lovers. We also agree on the importance of comfortable footwear--he prefers saddle shoes with argyle socks and I love trainers. In many ways Je suis Bert.

Anyway, Bert sings about words like Lemon and Light bulb and Lamppost and Lump in (his) oatmeal. Ernie suggests some words that are more Lilting and Lovely like Laughter  and Lullaby and Lollypop and Lights in the sky when suddenly Bert is struck with the thought of a beautiful word…..Linoleum. How I adore that pointy headed, unibrowed muppet.

You can watch them sing it here  or if you cannot access video read a transcript here  and then come back for my Lovely Lemon Poppy Seed cake recipe.

I got this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog. Her healthy decadent vegan recipes are amazing and I have just ordered her cookbook with some money from an Amazon gift card from my in-laws (thanks Roy, Julie and Christopher!!) It is based on a lemon cake from Starbucks which is apparently really good but also really high in fat and sugar. I saw this and *knew* we had to have it so I went out to Poundland (think Dollar Store for my American peeps) and bought me a loaf tin for £1. 

Her recipe is here.  I added poppy seeds (or poopy seeds as auto-correct seems to think I mean. Um…I don’t. ) just cause lemon goes well with poppy seeds. But be careful! Poppy seeds can give you a false positive on a drug test (seriously) so don’t eat the whole cake at once if you have to pee in a cup if you know what I mean.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Lightly grease a loaf tin--hers is 8 x 5 but I think mine is 9 x 5. Add a bit of parchment paper down the long sides and across the bottom. You cake will be super easy to lift out of the tin after baking. Seriously. Why have I never tried this before?

look how easy this is going to be to remove!

¼ cup soy yogurt

Zest of 1 lemon

½ cup lemon juice ---I used juice of one fresh lemon (the one I zested) and then the rest bottled lemon juice and it came out fine.

3.5 TB rapeseed oil (or more yogurt to make it oil free. I used 2 TB oil and 1.5 more yogurt)

½ TB vanilla essence



1 cup wholemeal spelt flour (could use wholemeal wheat flour)

Scant ½ tsp baking SODA

¼ tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt

½ cup sugar (I used ¼ cup Tate and Lyle Demerara sugar with stevia--same sweetness as ½ cup)

1 TB poppy (not poopy!) seeds


(non) Optional Glaze--¼ cup powdered icing sugar + 1 tsp lemon juice.


1. In a bowl whisk the wet ingredients together.

2. In a separate bowl stir dry ingredients together.

3.  Mix wet with dry and stir until just combined.

4. Spoon into loaf pan and smooth top.

5. Bake 25 minutes or until loaf has risen and a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.

6. Let cool a few minutes and then use parchment paper to carefully lift out (so easy!) and continue cooling on a wire rack. When cooled top with glaze.

7. For optimum freshness store in the fridge.

Luscious Lemon Cake

It was delicious--tangy and refreshing. Lightly sweet. Really yum and super easy. It came together quickly. We will definitely make this again and the brightness of the lemon really cheered me up after recent disappointments.

La La La La….Lovely.






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