Chili-Grilled Eggplant and Sweet Roasted Pepper Tartlets in Poppy Seed Shells

Tom and I love to have dinner parties.  Mainly because Tom knows that I like to cook up a storm and then sit back and accept all the praises that our guest will send my our way.

I’m crazy and he loves me – what can I say.

On the last dinner party, we had his best friend and his wife over.  We had them numerous times before and they are the type of dinner guest that will pretty much eat anything we put in front of them.

I call it having an adventurous palate.

I love cooking for them.

And the best part? The best friend wife is a vegetarian who lately is venturing into the raw food movement.  Which means that she forces me to be an adventurous cook - the best kind if you ask me.

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HCB: Lemon Poppy Seed-Sour Cream Cake

After last week scrumptious cake, I was not sure about the next one.  For the past 5 days, I been helping my sister with her business and basically been putting 14 hour work days.  I can not even see straight.  I was not even sure it would be safe of me to be around anything that required measuring and handling a hot oven.

I’m exhausted folks.  

By noon, today I was feeling antsy, because I remember that Tom had invited some friends over to watch the US vs Canada Gold medal hockey game and I had promise to served something sweet.

There went my vegetation plans.

I got home, read the recipe again and realized that I could have this cake done and over with in less than 1 hour. Plus, for once I actually had all that I needed in my kitchen, including the poppy seeds! 
I figure that Tom’s friends would love to have a cake that had opium in it. Side note: Don’t panic, the seeds contain very low levels of opiates, the most this cake can do to you is give you a sugar high.

And oh boy did it ever!

The cake was simple to make.  And yes, if you are wondering about repeating myself, yes, I am, about how simple Rose’s cakes are made… (Come back next week and see if I’m singing the same tune).  Or maybe I’m getting good at my prepping ahead of time, that when it comes to the actual mixing, it goes pretty effortless and fast.

Dry ingredients of sugar, flour, baking power, soda, the lemon zest (I added some lime zest as well) and 50 grams (1/3 cup) of poppy seeds.  And here I stopped and was WOW, FIFTY grams? I had to read the measurements again.  Really? That many?

My bottle was for only 35 grams!  What do I do now?

I bit the bullet and only put 35 grams in.  Hey, its not like anyone is going to count right?

Mixed it up for the required 30 second in the KA and then incorporate the butter, and the eggs, which have been previously whisked with the vanilla and sour cream.

Batter DONE!

I did not have a fancy pan, and I seriously thought of doing cupcakes, just to change it up.  But my tired mind was shutting down at this point with thoughts of having to subtract and add in order to figure out the ration of batter to cupcakes and all that, so I went with my boring, old bundt cake pan.

Place it in the oven, clicked the timer in the iPhone and went upstairs to catch up on Project Runway on my DVR.

And promptly fell sleep.

And no, I did not burn the cake.

Because, at 40 minutes my timer was beeping and I woke up to the house smelling all lemo-ny and delicious.

And when the cake came out of the oven, all of those smells seem to intensify.

Good things were coming.  Tom, started to shout from the living room “its it ready yet!?!”

I made the necessary holes all over the top, drenched it with the syrup, waited another 10 minutes and then did the flipy-floppy and on to the platter it went.

Another good dousing of syrup and ta-da!

The cake lasted un-touched 20 minutes, before Tom pounced on it, before his friends even arrived!


Tom: “I’m not taking this one to work, because It’s not going to survive the night”

Me: I like it and love the taste of the lemon and tartest of the sour cream. The books description that “it’s buttery and tender” its spot on. I thought I was going to be short on poppy seeds. But to be honest, I thought it was way to much to begin with in the first place. And in some cases it overpower the cake. Next time I’m actually going to reduce the poppy seeds (or do it without) and up the lemon zest.

And congratulations Canada on your win!

Full recipe can be found here