I made this cake on Christmas Eve because I didn’t want a heavy cream cake this year as a dessert. There is usually so much food that eating cake afterwards becomes a challenge. I wanted something a bit lighter with a fresh lemony taste and immediately thought about a lemon poppyseed cake.
The dough is basically the same as my Frankfurter Kranz recipe with added lemon and of course poppyseeds. I used a loaf baking pan for it but I am sure it would also look wonderful as a Bundt cake.
250 g softened butter (add a bit of salt to the batter if you don’t use salted butter) 200 g sugar 1/ 2 tsp ground vanilla 4 eggs zest of 1,5 lemons juice of 1 lemon 125 g plain flour 125 g potato or corn starch 1/2 tsp baking powder 50 g poppyseeds
For the glaze 100 g powdered sugar water or lemon juice elderflower syrup (optional) sugared flowers or other decoration
Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease the loaf pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs to prevent the cake from sticking to the sides.
Beat the butter with the sugar and the vanilla until it’s white and fluffy. Add the eggs and the lemon zest. Beat until the batter is thick and fluffy.
Combine the flour, starch and baking powder in a bowl and slowly add to the mixture until everything is incorporated and the dough is shiny.
Add the lemon juice and mix slowly until everything is smooth, then add the poppyseeds and pour the dough into your baking tin.
Bake for around 60 minutes. If the crust gets too brown, cover the cake with aluminium foil. Let the cake cool down in the baking pan and wait with the glaze until it’s completely cold.
If you want to use elderflower syrup for the glaze, add around two teaspoons to a bowl of powdered sugar and add as much water or lemon juice as needed to make a runny paste. Don’t make it too thin or else it won’t cover the cake but instead run down the sides completely. Decorate with sugared flowers, sprinkles or leave it plain. Enjoy!
I was looking for a more unusual winter drink when I found this recipe for a Harry Potter inspired butterbeer. I wanted to make it for Christmas Eve and the recipe seemed to suit well since, unlike the name suggests, there isn’t actually any beer in it. The recipe uses cream soda which I had never had before, so I first bought a bottle to try in case I didn’t like it. In the Finnish stores there aren’t many options for cream soda, so basically the only one I could find was Boylan‘s Creme Cane Sugar. It tasted really great and decided not to look for other brands.
I changed the amounts around a bit because first I had made a bigger batch and in the end we had too much cream left over. Not a bad thing though. The maple buttercream is so delicious I think it would work well in a cake as well. Otherwise you can of course always drink another butterbeer but it is quite heavy and I didn’t manage to drink a second one on the same night, although I really much wanted to! This recipe is with the adjusted amounts, so you shouldn’t have any extra cream but of course it depends depends a bit on the type of glasses you’re using. Same for the cream soda. I used a bit less than a bottle per glass.
Ingredients (around 4-6 servings)
400 ml heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp salted butter
4 + 2 tbsp maple syrup
~ 1 bottle of cream soda per serving, chilled (I used Boylan’s cane sugar cream soda)
Chill you glasses in the freezer or outside if it’s cold enough and start making the maple butter.
Melt the butter and 4 tbsp of the maple syrup on medium heat on the stove and bring it to a simmer while constantly stirring. It will get thicker and smell like fudge. Set aside and whip the cream with a bit of salt and 2 tbsp of maple syrup until it is light and fluffy but not completely firm. You will still have to add the butter mixture, so don’t overbeat it! Add the maple butter slowly to the whipped cream and mix until everything is smooth and foamy.
Now you can take the glasses out of the freezer and add a little bit of the cream (~heaped tbsp) to the bottom of the glass and also some whiskey if you want. Fill it up slowly with cream soda. It will produce a lot of soda foam, so you should take it off. Top your drink with another spoon or two of buttercream and enjoy! If you have cream left over you can use it for desserts or another drink the next day. My cream went a bit runny the second day in the fridge but I could whip it up easily. Enjoy!
I actually don’t remember if I ever had a proper eggnog. Many years ago a good friend of mine made an eggless eggnog when we stayed Christmas in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt, where we had been for excavations. She didn’t want to use raw eggs because we already had managed to get salmonella from raw cookie dough a month prior to Christmas, so they were out of the question. While salmonella is not so much of a problem in Finland, I still wanted to stick with an eggless eggnog recipe. After realizing that I don’t really drink cow milk anymore either, I decided to make it completely vegan.
If you don’t want to have a vegan eggnog but keep it eggless nonetheless, you could also switch the almond milk for a full fat cow milk and use normal whipping cream.
Ingredients (makes 2-3 portions)
1 cup almond milk
2/3 cup soy whipping cream (I used Alpro Soya)
1/3 cup muscovado sugar
vanilla bean extract or fresh vanilla bean
1 heaped tsp corn starch
Rum or brandy (optional)
Take a tbsp of the almond milk and mix it with the corn starch. Set aside and heat the rest of the milk on medium heat with the vanilla. I added empty vanilla pods to give the milk a nice flavour. You can now add the sugar. How much you’ll need depends if you use a sweetened milk or not, so add a bit more than 1/3 cup if it’s not sweet enough for you. When the milk starts to simmer add the cornstarch/milk mixture to thicken it up. Take it off the heat and start whipping the soy cream. Keep a few spoons for decorating the eggnog later and gently stir the rest of the cream under the almond milk mixture. Let it cool down in the fridge (or outside if it’s cold enough). Add rum or brandy to your eggnog or leave it like it is. Pour in glasses, scoop a bit of cream on top and decorate with some freshly ground nutmeg! Enjoy!
Soon we’re off to my parents’, to spend a nice Christmas Eve & Day with my family. Can’t wait for the food, sauna and presents! I’ve made a deal with myself to not eat too much, but we’ll see how that goes… Stef made a beautiful lemon poppy seed cake that I can’t wait to taste! Of course there’s going to be traditional Finnish Christmas food as well.
This year we decided to not have a big Christmas tree. Instead I made some garlands out of corn starch dough. They turned out to be really pretty!
We also got two little trees in replacement of a big one and they’re really cute.
I was sure we were going to have a snowless Christmas, but on Monday it started snowing, and now we have 10 cm of the white stuff!
We also did some last minute gift shopping in Tallinn on Monday. The city was so beautiful with all the Christmas lights, snow and the mulled wine at the Christmas market was delicious.
I’m looking outside and it started snowing again. We will see if there’s going to be double the amount of snow by tomorrow – I hope not!
We want to wish the readers of this blog a Merry Christmas! May all your bellies be full and your moods content.
If you still need a Christmas gift and don’t have much time on your hands this will be perfect. Done in less than half an hour and so good you might want to consider keeping it. I recommend making a bigger amount, so you don’t have to be sad to give it all away but instead can keep some for yourself.
There is no black tea in the recipe, so for some chai just brew some tea, warm some milk and add as much syrup as you like. You can also flavour your coffee with it.
For the recipe I used a mix between farin sugar and cane sugar. Farin sugar is a brown sugar to which sugar cane molasses or dark syrup has been added and it is really sticky. You can use any kind of sugar you like. I chose farin sugar because it has a dark malty taste to it.
350 ml water
300 g sugar
2 tsp cloves
1-2 pieces star anise
7 cardamom pods
2 pieces cinnamon bark
8 berries allspice
Bring the water with the sugar to boil on medium heat. When everything is dissolved, add the spices and let it boil slightly for around 20 minutes. Pour everything through a strainer, or in case you used ground spices, through a cheesecloth and fill into bottles. The syrup should last in the fridge for a long time. Enjoy!