Poppy Seed Loaves
It's in one of my notebooks, and I can no longer recall its exact provenance. I used to borrow cookery books from the library and copy out any recipes I particularly liked the look of. This one must have come from a book or a magazine article dedicated to tea-breads, flanked as it is in my notebook by "Raisin, almond and grapefruit loaf" and "Prune, lemon and hazelnut bread".
Tea-breads are, I suspect, largely a British phenomenon. They are neither bread nor, strictly speaking, cake. They are dense, moist, sticky loaves which are cut at the afternoon-tea table into thin slices, and buttered. They were a staple when I was growing up: I remember my mother used to - and quite possibly still does - use a recipe she had cut out of a magazine in which All Bran is soaked in cold tea overnight before the rest of the ingredients are slung together.
Anyway, despite Pop's insistence that he is quite sure I would start to enjoy baking once more if I simply posted the results to him the moment they cooled, I can't envisage myself ever making this particular recipe again. But I really did used to enjoy it, so I thought I'd stick it up on the blog in the hopes that some non-diabetic readers will make it and love it.
It's one of those tremendously-easy recipes in which you just beat everything together in a bowl, so it may be achievable even for people with impairment-related baking issues. It is very sweet indeed, though, and not to be attempted if you don't like the taste of poppy seeds. Or their propensity for getting stuck between your teeth. It makes 2 x 2lb loaves, which is a lot. I probably used to give one loaf away, but I imagine the second loaf would freeze quite successfully.
NB When I copied recipes into my notebook, I didn't do it word for word. I worked on the assumption that I didn't need to be told when to grease and line a cake tin; how to melt chocolate; what consistency egg-whites should be when whisked; how to tell when a cake is 'done'; the fact that ovens should be pre-heated, etc, etc. And I had - and still have - an electric oven, so I didn't write down the gas mark figure.
You will need:
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 pint corn oil
14oz can of condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 lb sugar
1 1/2 lbs plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or extract, if you can get it)
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons black poppy seeds (although white might be interesting)
Beat everything except half the poppy seeds together in a large bowl. Pour into your waiting loaf tins. Sprinkle the rest of the seeds on top. Bake at 325 degrees F/160 degrees C for an hour and a quarter, or until done.
See? I told you it was easy....