Sometimes, I choose a restaurant just because I heard it has a proper espresso machine (which is pretty rare around here).
My boyfriend, being British, has no idea how to make a good coffee (hellooo stereotype!)
No matter how strong I ask him to make my coffee, it's alway a slightly-black-coloured and tasteless concoction, that has nothing to do with coffee. (We call this "sock's juice" in French)
He is trying hard, but it's not his fault, he doesn't have the coffee gene.
Poor him, I had been teasing him for months...until I realised that I was apparently deprieved of the most important gene in this country: the tea gene.
Does it matter if the tea brews for 3 or 5 minutes?
How much milk is a "dash of milk"?
What? How come I can't just add the milk when I want?
How am I supposed to judge if it's strong enough?
Slowly, we're learning each other's ways, and becoming caffeinely bi-cultural.
And I'm learning how to shut up from time to time ;-)
Citrus Poppy Seed Cake
Let's be clear, poppy seeds don't bring any taste to the cake, but they make it pretty and they crunch under your teeth, which is quite a pleasurable eating experience.
The yogurt makes the sponge very light and moist, and the mascaropone topping is a real delight. A crowd pleaser!
Ingredients for the cake:
175g butter, softened
3 eggs, beaten
250g self raising flour
50g poppy seeds
grated rind of 2 oranges, and 2 lemons
4 rounded tbsp plain yogurt
For the topping:
grated rind and juice of 1 small orange or lemon
2 tbsp icing sugar
Make the cake:
1/ Preheat oven to 150degC and butter a round cake tin
2/ Using a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, poppy seeds, citrus rind and yogurt until smooth
Tip: my secret is to first beat the butter and sugar until the mix becomes light and fluffy before adding the other ingredients. This makes a real difference in making the cake light and moist!
3/ Spread the mixture in the mould and bake for 45-50min until just firm. Cool in the mould for 10min until turning out and cool completely on a wire rack.
4/ In the meantime, beat the mascarpone with enough orange/lemon juice and the icing sugar to make it spreadable. Spread over the cake, and leave to set for 1 hour before decorating with additional orange rind and serving.