Sometimes, the simplest things are the best.
Just something fairly plain, made with love.
Something that sometimes gives back to you in ways you least expect.
But you're probably thinking, this is only a cake, after all.
I should explain. I was surprised by how much Sam enjoyed this cake.
Given that he has now launched headfirst, it seems, into his toddler days, getting him to sit in one place for longer than a minute or two is an achievement in itself.
Yet he was very happy to clamber up and sit snuggled on the sofa with me, sharing a slice.
A few precious moments stolen from an otherwise hurly-burly kind of day.
And that made it really special.
Although I have made loaf cakes before, the results have been a bit hit and miss. I don't know why.
The last one I tried (Primrose Bakery's Lemon Drizzle) I simply binned, as although I followed the recipe exactly, something happened and it just didn't turn out right. It sank disastrously in the middle and didn't taste right.
This one was a dream, though. Zingy lemon and lime, in a soft fluffy sponge, with the subtlest crunch from the poppy seeds. The icing glaze on the top added just the right amount of tangy sugariness.
Sometimes, that's all you need.
Lemon and Lime Poppyseed Loaf
Ingredients (for one 2lb loaf)
175g softened unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
finely grated zest of one lime and one lemon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbspn lemon juice
175g self raising flour
2 tbspns poppy seeds
For the glaze
1 tbspn lemon juice
1 tbspn lime juice
100g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 Conventional / 350 Fahrenheit / Gas 4. Line the base and sides of a loaf tin (I used a ready made liner).
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon and lime zest and mix in. Beat in the eggs a little at a time until they are incorporated. Then add the lemon juice. Gently sift and then mix in the flour, just until you have a smooth batter. Fold in the poppy seeds, until they are evenly distributed.
Spoon into the liner and smooth the top. Bake for about an hour, until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, and then add the lime and lemon juice to make a runny icing. Place the wire rack over some greaseproof paper (to catch the drips) and then spoon the icing over the top. Leave to set.
*Adapted from Everday Easy Cakes and Cupcakes by Dorling Kindersley