Sunday, May 27, 2012


Recently, I had four days to kill at the end of a London work trip, and someone recommended the wilds of the north Norfolk coast as the perfect mini-break. Hiring a car, I headed for Cambridge for a dose of uni nostalgia and history, 

beer, and a bit of a punt. 

I snuck in the back of St John’s College, 

to see how it’s really done, 

before wandering through the town centre. Above is the famous Bridge of Sighs.

But my real destination was Norfolk’s Holkham, a tiny village clustered around a large estate home, 

with the added lure of its famous beach (cue last scene of Shakespeare in Love, Gwyneth roaming across said sand) and big reputation as a foodie mecca.

The Victoria is the culinary destination of the region, and serves a pretty mean fish pie. But it is The Globe Inn in Wells-next-the-Sea, that dishes up effortlessly lovely fare. Though the region is famous for Cromer crab, it wasn’t on the menu that day. There was seafood risotto though... 

... followed by a gorgeous lemon poppyseed cake, which I was inspired to recreate here, now I’m home on the other side of the world. 

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

125g butter, with extra for greasing tin
1 1/4 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp poppyseeds
1 lemon, zested
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm diameter cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add poppyseeds, lemon zest and juice and mix well. Add eggs and mix well. Sift flour and baking powder and add in batches alternately with the milk. Pour mixture into tin and smooth the top. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn down oven to 170C and cook for a further 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove and cool cake on a rack.
If you want icing, use 1 lemon (zest and juice) and mix with 225g icing sugar until smooth, or dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.

Back to normal (read: more regular) programming in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to hunkering down, and cooking some hearty winter fare.