The above picture of my citrus poppy seed cake was very popular on my Instagram account this week. I didn’t get why, because it is a super simple cake. But I also really don’t get IG. Or maybe I do, I just don’t want to play along. I love to use that platform to share my pictures and search for recipe and photography inspiration. Although it gets harder and harder to find what I am looking for. There are so many accounts and I am certain there are many wonderful pictures that I will never see. What I do see instead is what IG thinks I like. And most of the time that is pretty boring. No, dear algorithm, you don’t know me. Because IG works like this, I am convinced that this Social Media channel can kill a lot of creativity. You see smoothie bowls, banana breads, brownies and avocado toasts over and over, usually in the same setting and with similar props and same backdrops. I am pretty sure I have been guilty of this, too. (No smoothie bowls and banana breads but settings and angles for sure!) Sometimes it’s hard to keep your own style even when every IG tip is about how important it is to be unique and stand out. The perfidious thing is, it means quite the opposite. And even though it’s a tip for professionals and influencers, a lot of regular folks follow it, too. It’s obvious to me that we’re all floating with the current over on IG. If we get more likes for a certain style of picture, we might keep up with that style so the likes won’t disappear into thin air. It’s weird how you can get addicted to these likes, especially if you spent half a day trying to get just that one shot right. You are super proud of it and then people scroll right over this new favourite picture of yours. The photographs I like best in my feed get the fewest likes. Most people who follow me on IG don’t wanna see fresh produce or soup. They wanna see cakes and cookies. Which means, IG is probably not very good for my physical health and my body, if I do start taking it too seriously. But enough about that, let’s get back to the real problems in life. And one of them is: eggs in cakes! A few weeks ago I paged through an old cookbook of mine and cake across a recipe for a lemon poppy seed pound cake. That recipe called for six eggs! Somebody must have had really a lot of leftover eggs in their fridge when they came up with this recipe, because come on! This is neither and angel food cake nor some choux pastry. These eggs fulfill no function! And that is exactly why a pound cake recipe works great without eggs. You can replace them safely with some soy yoghurt and some carbonated water for example and your cake will turn out just as well. My first version of this cake was in the oven for over two hours (okay, that might not have happened with all those eggs in there…), so I halved the recipe. And now it is perfect! (I have at least 10 co-workers to vouch for it.) (Sorry for the blurry pic! I used my really old Konika Minolta lens with a very wide aperture [f 2.2]. At that aperture the lens can be quite blurry, but I like the dreamy atmosphere it creates and I just love that lens. Sharpness is overrated, friends.)
For the cake:
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 50 g poppy seeds
- 35 g almond flour
- 100 g sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground vanilla
- 120 g unsweetened soy yoghurt
- 60 ml carbonated water
- 60 ml orange juice
- 30 ml lemon juice
- 125 g soft margarine
- zest of one lemon
For the glaze:
- 50 g powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp lemon or orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a small bread pan (20 x 10 cm) with margarine.
- In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients (except lemon zest).
- Place all wet ingredients plus margarine and lemon zest in a blender and process on high speed until everything is incorporated.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until almost no lumps remain.
- Pour into the pan and bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Let cool completely.
- Mix powdered sugar and citrus juice and glaze the cake.