Last night, feeling in such a good mood to bake a cake, I started thawing the butter and preheating the oven only to discover that I was out of all-purpose flour. I was about to concede defeat when I remembered that I still had a bag of whole wheat flour. If a little cornstarch could be added to all-purpose flour to make cake flour, I wondered what would happen if I added more cornstarch to whole wheat flour and baked a cake using the mixture. I took the plunge (I had already used up so much gas preheating the oven, after all) measured and mixed everything and baked a white chocolate, lemon and poppy seed cake.
Result? Very good. The cake was wonderfully light with a nutty feel from the coarser bits in the whole wheat flour. But it wasn’t chewy nor dense. The texture is very interesting, really, because you occasionally get a sensation of melted chocolate in your mouth. And the aroma? Oh my goodness. Lemon zest is a miracle ingredient.
White chocolate, lemon and poppy seed cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Place the butter, sugar and white chocolate morsels in a microwavable bowl.
- Pour in the milk.
- Microwave on HIGH for two to three minutes or just until the butter melts. Stir until the sugar dissolves. It is okay if the white chocolate morsels are still solid — they will melt during baking. Leave to cool.
- Zest the lemons.
- Sift together the whole wheat flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. If the grainier bits of wheat don’t pass through the sifter, dump them in with the sifted mixture anyway. You just want to incorporate air into the dry mixture and make sure there are no lumps.
- Beat the egg into the butter-milk mixture.
- Stir in the lemon zest and poppy seeds.
- Pour the batter into a pan (see notes below). Bake for 40 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert then re-invert onto a rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
I used a silicone pan. If you’re using a regular pan, you may want to butter and line it before pouring in the batter.