85g unsalted butter at room temperature
245g caster sugar
grated zest of 1 1/2 unwaxed lemons
15g poppyseeds, plus extra to decorate (I skipped these but I'm sure they'd be nice)
165 ml whole milk
235g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 egg whites
freshly squeezed juice and zest of 1 lemon
50g caster sugar
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
250g icing sugar, sifted
a 24-cm ring mould, greased and dusted with flour (which I don't have but want to get - I just used an ordinary springform which was grand)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Beat together butter, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds with electric mixer. Slowly add the milk and continue to beat until incorporated. (Don't worry if mixture looks slightly split.)
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat thoroughly until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a handheld electric whisk until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold the whisked egg whites into the cake mixture until well mixed but do not overmix. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched.
For the lemon syrup: While cake is baking, put the lemon juice and zest, sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Raise the heat and boil until it has reduced by half, or until it has a thin syrup consistency. When the hot cake comes out of the oven, pour the syrup all over the top. Leave to cool slightly in the mould before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the lemon glaze: Mix the lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Add a little water or more sugar to thin or thicken as necessary. When the cake is cold, put it on a cake stand, pour the glaze over it and decorate with poppy seeds.