Thursday, May 10, 2012

French yogurt cake: a recipe

yogurt cake
I really wish I'd seen that crumb in the foreground...
Lucky you: this is is your second dessert recipe this week!

You can thank some dear friends of ours who came to visit recently, as we hosted them for dinner one night. When having a dinner party (do we call them that anymore or is that too Mad Men?), I like to choose dishes for the menu that can either be made in advance or are simple enough to a) not stress me out and b) allow me to spend time with my guests rather than being by myself in the kitchen.

For example, steaks on the grill are a great choice because then Mr. Ninj gets to cook, too. (Which he did for this dinner party. In the pouring rain, no less.)

So, wanting a simple, make-ahead dessert, I chose this French Yogurt Cake, not only because it was easy but also because it has the word "french" in the title and I'm gearing up for my first trip to Paris in June. (Yes, Paris! I mean, oui, Paris! Ooo la la!)

Talk about easy!

yogurt cake

No stand mixer, no dough chilling, just mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients and bake.

Result? A lovely take on pound cake, moist and lemony, that would be equally as good for breakfast as it was for dessert.

yogurt cake

Should you make it immediately? Oui.

French Yogurt Cake (adapted slightly from a recipe in Bon Appetit)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 cup sugar
Zest of one large lemon
3/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
3 ounces canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk together the first three ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, with your hands, rub the sugar and lemon zest together until the oil from the zest has moistened the sugar (this is the yum factor). To the sugar mixture add the yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla and blend with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients and stir to blend.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then finish cooling completely on a wire rack.

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