in praise of slowness, making the plan as you go and sparking creativity

{ lemon poppy seed pound cake with blueberries and basil }

For its exquisite yet crowd-pleasing flavour profile and its laid-back yet preppy looks, this cake suits any occasion or table just perfectly. It brings that extra something to a picnic-style brunch in the balcony with plenty other things to choose from, it is just as good for packing and taking to the park to share with friends on a sunday afternoon, or it can just as well be the star of a fancier dinner. Do not skip the glaze and the lemon zest on top, for they are not only a final decorative touch, they actually change the experience of biting into a slice.

It's been a month and a half since I finished my internship and I have to admit I haven't taken it the right way from the beginning. I have failed to recognize I was on holidays at first because I used the first couple of weeks to review my master thesis, which made me look back into last year's summer, when I was locked at home or in the library 24/7. After a month and a half, and after being in New York City for a week, I guess I have finally learned to accept this new earned freedom and how to better enjoy and take advantage of it. I have recognized that living slow is healing me in many ways and helping me shining new light into things I was not seeing clearly before. It's a bit like when you set a caged bird free and it doesn't know what to do... except that I've been learning how to fly, and since I can't settle for average, I'm learning how to ace at it.

I've become really good at handling having too much free time - and none at the same time. I have developed my skills on doing nothing and relaxing... and yet I've never been more productive and it's been a while since I last did so many different things one right after the other, or even at the same time. I have made peace with the clock, as I no longer feel like it is ahead or behind me. I have remembered how I used to create more time out of real time. In the end, by learning how to handle too much free time, I feel like I've remembered how to better use too little free time.

This weekend was awesome from the beginning to the end. Perfect weather, perfect spots and perfect company - I can only thank my friends for the great time I've had. I can't say I haven't been having a ball alone during the week, taking myself out to the park to tan, reading, taking myself out for drinks... but I've also been having a ball with friends at night and over the weekends, meeting some new ones and getting to know the older ones better. It has been really nice! I loved that Ana cooked for me after a day at the lake and yesterday I had invited Claudia over for brunch before we went to the park. Claudia is really nice and it's sad that she's only staying in Munich for a few months.

I woke up way too early... I think I slept three hours, owing to a terrible stomach ache that's been increasingly bugging me for weeks. Then I spent the whole morning choring around and I had no idea of what to make for brunch. I had thought about whipping up some nice pancakes or scones, but I really felt like having something savoury. I have had my fridge almost empty since I have been feeling sick, and it was Sunday... luckily I had some stuff I could put together to pull out some really nice brunch. I only needed that something special made just for the occasion to be the centerpiece. Something that we could take with us to the park too. And after looking at what I had on the fridge and having a slowness induced creative spark that made me reach for my basil, this is what I came up with.

Do bake it. I can assure you you're going to love it.

pound cake de limão e papoila com mirtilhos e manjericão.
um bolo fresco e intenso que sabe a verão, amigos e diversão.

125g de manteiga
125g de açúcar
125g de farinha
125ml de leite
sumo e raspa de 1 limão
meia dúzia de folhas de manjericão picadas
2 colheres de sopa rasas de sementes de papoila
2 colheres de chá de xarope de baunilha
1 colher de chá de fermento
1/2 colher de chá de sal
2 ovos
125g de mirtilhos

1/2 chávena de açúcar em pó
1 colher de sopa de sumo de limão

(para polvilhar)
raspa de limão

Untar uma forma de bolo inglês com manteiga e pré-aquecer o forno a 170ºC.
Num copo, juntar o leite com o sumo de limão e deixar repousar para que coalhe.
Numa taça grande, bater bem a manteiga com o açúcar até obter uma mistura cremosa.
Acrescentar uma colher de sopa da farinha, bater, juntar um ovo e bater bem. Repetir com nova colher de sopa da farinha e o outro ovo.
À parte, misturar a farinha, o fermento e o sal.
Com a batedeira eléctrica manual em velocidade média, incorporar à vez parte do buttermilk e parte da farinha. Incorporar as sementes de papoila, a raspa de limão e o manjericão.
Com uma espátula, envolver cuidadosamente os mirtilhos.
Verter na forma e levar ao forno cerca de 40 minutos.
Desenformar e deixar arrefecer. Entretanto, misturar bem os ingredientes do glacé.
Verter o glacé sobre o bolo de forma irregular, deixando escorrer para os lados. Polvilhar com a restante raspa de limão.


lemon poppy seed pound cake with blueberries and basil.
a fresh and intense cake that tastes like summer, friend and fun.

125g butter
125g sugar
125g flour
125ml milk
juice and zest of 1 lemon
half a dozen thinly chopped basil leaves
2 scant tbsp poppy seeds
2 tsp vanilla syrup
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
125g blueberries

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

lemon zest

Generously grease a loaf cake pan with butter and preheat the oven at 170ºC.
In a glass, mix the milk and lemon juice. Let rest so that it curdles.
In a big bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Add a spoonful of the flour and beat. Add an egg and beat it throughly. Repeat with another spoonful of flour and the second egg.
In a second bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
While beating the butter mixture with the hand mixer set to medium speed, alternately add a bit of buttermilk and a bit of flour at the time. Mix in the poppy seeds, lemon zest and chopped basil.
Using a spatula, carefully fold in the blueberries.
Pour the batter into a the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes.
Unmould and let cool. Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients.
Pour the glaze over the cake and sprinkle with the lemon zest.


I hope you have a delightful week!
with love,

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