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  • Writer's pictureDawn Hames

Lemon Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake

I remember in grade four having to memorize the poem In Flanders Field. “In Flanders fields the poppies blow among the crosses, row on row,” is the first line of a well-known poem that was written by John McCrae. We not only, as a class had to memorize it, we also were taught the meaning of the poem. Remembrance Day is a time to acknowledge the brave men and women who fought for the freedoms that we often take for granted today. The freedom of thought and speech. The right for democracy. The gift to live in a land of peace. We enjoy this because of the great sacrifices, suffering, and sorrow that were made by unknown others. Mothers lost sons, wives lost their husbands and children lost their fathers. Gone were brothers, sisters, and unborn children, and grandchildren. When I think of all the great gifts, they have given me, and the high cost they have paid, I am moved to deep gratitude. I also think of the great cost of freedom, and that my freedom was not free. It came at a very high cost.

The recipe this week is for my Remembrance Day cake, filled with poppy seeds. Poppy seeds are a source of fiber and high in both oleic and linoleic acid, with help lower bad cholesterol. They also contain many B vitamins and are excellent source of minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. Serve and enjoy with gratitude, and when we see all the little poppy seeds, may we be reminded to count our many blessings, and think of our brave soldiers.

Lemon Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake

2/3 cup poppy seeds

1 cup hot water

10 egg whites at room temp for 30


1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

5 egg yolks

1/2 cup safflower oil

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put the poppy seeds in a small bowl and cover with hot water and soak for 30 minutes and then drain out the water. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. This is a three-bowl cake. Carefully separate the whites from 10 eggs that have sat out at room temperature for 30 minutes. In the first bowl, a large one, place the 5 egg yolks and with an electric mixer, beat the oil into the eggs a teaspoon at a time. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and slowly add the water and lemon juice to the egg yolk mixture while beating. In a separate bowl sift together the cake flour, 1 cup of sugar, the salt and baking powder. Add the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture a quarter at a time. Continue beating until well blended. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Continue to beat until very soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat, all the while ensuring that the egg whites are at the soft peak stage (the peak flops over). Gently stir one third of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk batter, until just blended. Gently fold the remaining egg white mixture and poppy seeds into the egg yolk batter. Pour into a tube pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. Invert the pan while cooling and allow cooling completely before removing from the pan. Frost with a slightly thinned vanilla butter cream icing to which lemon zest has been added.

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