In an effort to post healthier recipes, I scoured my cookbooks (and brain) for a moist and tender cake that was less of a "bottom offender", if you know what I mean.
This little find, from my culinary heroine Clotilde over at ChocolateandZucchini.com., is a staple of French home baking.
It's sweet but not too sweet.
Perfect after dinner or toasted for breakfast.
You can tinker with it ad infinum. Add lemon or lime zest, chocolate chips, substitute cocoa powder and ground almonds for part of the flour, as Clotilde suggests, or slice it in half and spread the middle with raspberry jam, lemon curd, or chocolate ganache.
But here is the bare-bones basic.
And it is good.
I served mine with a dollop of yogurt, some fresh cherries, and drizzled it with honey.
No one complained!
I used a 10" springform pan to bake this cake. If you use a 9" cake pan, it might spill over and you will be cursing me under your breath as you scrape charred bits of cake from your oven floor. I haven't tried it in a 13 x 9" baking pan...if you do, be sure to reduce the baking time and keep your eye on it so it doesn't burn.
I cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan.
Then I slathered the whole thing with butter.
In a large bowl, mix together a cup of sugar and a cup of yogurt
(it's best if you can use whole-milk yogurt).
Add an egg.
Whisk well to incorporate.
Add another egg.
And whisk it thoroughly again.
Now add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
And then some oil.
Have I told you how much I love this stuff?
I substitute it for vegetable or canola oil every chance I get.
It has a myriad of health benefits, from having high levels of antioxidents to
purportedly lowering cholesterol (particularly the bad LDL).
It's also rich in Vitamin E, beta carotine, and Vitamin C.
I cannot detect the taste in my baked goods.
You might just have to make the switch as well...
Add 1/3 cup of oil to the batter.
Then sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
And pour into the wet ingredients.
Mix JUST until blended.
Spread into the prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Invert a cake plate over the cake, and flip.
The cake should slide right out.
Peel the parchment paper from the top.
Serve it warm, if you are not frosting it.
I topped mine with yogurt, fresh cherries, and drizzles of honey.
(Gateau Au Yaourt)
1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 teaspoon to grease the pan (I substituted grapeseed oil and butter)
1 cup plain unsweetened yogurt, preferably whole milk
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light or amber rum (optional but recommended)
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
A good pinch of fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides of a 10-inch round cake pan or springform pan with oil (or butter!) and line the bottom with parchment paper if the pan is not springform.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt and sugar. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, oil, and rum, if using, and whisk again.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and whisk until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen. If you're using a springform pan, unclasp the sides. Otherwise, flip the cake onto a plate and flip it back on the rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
From Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen