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Donal Skehan's what to eat now


Donal Skehan's lemon and poppyseed loaf

Donal Skehan's lemon and poppyseed loaf

Donal Skehan's lemon and poppyseed loaf

Recipes, restaurant recommendations and more hidden gems from Donal’s Little Black Book

Lemon & Poppy Seed Loaf

What is it about lemon cakes and treats that makes them so popular? What I love most about this particular Lemon & Poppy Seed Loaf is just how simple it is to prepare. I like to make a loaf, store it in a cake tin and have it at the ready for any guests who might drop in for a cup of tea!

Makes one loaf

You will need

Flour to dust the tin

110g wholemeal flour

110g plain flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of poppy seeds

100ml natural yoghurt

200g caster sugar

3 large eggs

Zest of 2 lemons

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

100ml sunflower oil

Lemon Icing

110g icing sugar

3 tablespoons of lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 2lb loaf tin (21cm x 11cm x 6cm) with butter, dust with flour or line with baking parchment and set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture onto the dry ingredients and whisk well to incorporate. With a spatula, fold the sunflower oil into the batter, making sure it is well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

When the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. This gives you time to prepare the tangy lemon icing.

Combine the sugar and lemon juice until smooth, you may need to add a drop of water or a little more icing sugar to achieve to correct consistency. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack and spoon the icing over the top of the cake allowing it to dribble down the sides. Serve in generous slices.

Cornelius’ Lemony Lemonade

With a hint of summer in the air (when it’s not raining!) it’s time to crack out the cordials and lemonades. One of my favourites is Cornelius’ Lemony Lemonade which is handmade by the Traas family at The Apple Farm in Co. Tipperary. This lemonade has all the right kinds of citrus sour but has enough sweetness to make it the perfect drink to quench your thirst.

SEE: theapplefarm.com 

Lemon Squeezy

If you are planning to bake my lemon loaf or even want to try making your own lemonade, I recommend having the right tools.

While you can squeeze ample juice from a lemon with your hands, a juicer really gets out every last drop. I’m a big fan of Helen James’ beautiful marble juicer which is available in her Considered Cafe on Drury Street, in Dublin, or in selected Dunnes Stores.

SEE: dunnesstores.com/consideredbyhelenjames

Soder + Ko

With a love for Asian food and a Swedish soon to be wife, I was very intrigued by the Scandinavian/Asian fusion restaurant, Soder + Ko, that has opened on Dublin’s George’s Street. The menu is a well-curated tapas adventure and choosing what plates to have is quite the task! We went for the five plates between two for €45 and it was more than enough. Standout dishes included the scallop ceviche and braised pork cheek with crab roll. Well worth a visit! See: soderandko.ie

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