Sunday, February 14, 2016

Today's Recipe Challenge: French Yogurt Cake

I came across a recipe for French Yogurt Cake, described as a cake in every French housewife's repertoire. It sounded pretty easy. No creaming of butter and sugar, no separating eggs... Sounds too good to be true. I did a little more digging and sure enough I found a number of variations on this simple theme. Most, if not all required 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, plain greek-style yogurt (any fat content), 1 cup sugar, 2-3 eggs, some sort of fat and a flavoring such as lemon zest, orange oil, vanilla, etc. Very easy. I decided to make this cake for our office meeting this week. I didn't have any greek yogurt so I substituted sour cream for the yogurt. I also didn't have any lemons, but I did have some frozen cherries so I decided to use some of them. Here's my recipe:

French Yogurt (or Sour Cream) Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain greek-style yogurt or sour cream
3 eggs (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup frozen pitted cherries, defrosted and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter for greasing a pan

  • Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, set aside
  • In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and yogurt or sour cream and then add eggs, one at a time, whisking vigorously between each added egg. Add vanilla and almond extracts
  • Add chopped cherries to flour mixture and toss with the flour mixture (this helps the cherry pieces "float" in the batter rather than sinking)
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients (not the oil yet) and whisk until the ingredients are fully incorporated
  • Using a rubber spatula, add the oil in 3 or 4 "glugs", beating with the spatula to incorporate fully before adding more
  • Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean 
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then tip the cake out and cool completely
Here are some photos of the process: 

First things first... get those cherries out of the freezer to defrost. I put them on paper towels and cut them in half to facilitate the defrosting

Once defrosted, I used a sharp knife to chop the cherries and put them, again, on paper towels to dry a little. You don't want a lot of extra juice making the cake heavy

Whisk your flour baking powder and salt together. Add the sour cream or yogurt and whisk together

Whisk each egg vigorously into the sour cream/sugar mixture. 

Toss the chopped cherries into the flour mixture and stir to coat the chopped cherries

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients until well combined. Using a rubber spatula add the oil in several additions mixing it in thoroughly before adding more. 

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until your cake tester comes our clean

Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then tip out of the pan and let sit until completely cool. 

Here it is. A really nice, favorful cake that was really easy and infinitely variable. Try lemon, orange, rosewater, anise.. any flavoring your like

1 comment:

  1. My mother in law makes a similar cake using the small yogurt pots to measure a lot of the ingredients. It was very tasty!