Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lime yogurt cake

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One of the first food blogs I ever read was Chocolate & Zucchini, written by the charming Clotilde Dusoulier, a food lover in Paris who writes about all sorts of interesting French ingredients and recipes. Some of Clotilde's recipes strike me as off the beaten path - strawberry basil pesto? - but I am a sucker for traditional French family recipes.

I have made the gateau au yaourt (yogurt cake) from Chocolate & Zucchini no less than three dozen times. Clotilde describes it as one of the first cakes French children learn to bake, because its proportions are very simple and it requires nothing more than a mixing bowl and wooden spoon. That's precisely why I like it, too: It comes together in about five minutes, and for very little effort you get a sweet, moist, gentle cake flavored with vanilla that melts in your mouth and keeps well for a few days on the counter.

Of course, I can never leave well enough alone, and this cake takes on additional flavors very well. A little grated lime zest in the batter, plus a tangy lime glaze on top, and the French nursery tea-time cake is sophisticated enough for dessert.

Lime yogurt cake
adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat is fine)
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a round 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla and lime zest. In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (Note that sifting is not strictly necessary, but I always do it because I once made a cake without sifting and bit into several large lumps of baking soda. Yuck to the millionth power.)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend with a large spoon or spatula just until everything is incorporated. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, mix the lime juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. When the cake comes out of the oven, poke some holes in the top with the toothpick, then pour the glaze over the cake. Serve straight from the pan when it has cooled to lukewarm.

If you prefer to serve the cake on a nice plate instead of out of the baking pan, take it out of the oven, wait 5 minutes, turn it out onto a rack, and glaze the cake on the rack. When the glaze sets and the cake is cool, move the cake to your serving plate with a large spatula (or two).


Rhonda said...

I love citrus, I bet this cake would be just as good with lemon or grapefruit. Perfect with a cuppa tea!

clotilde said...

So glad you like this recipe as much as I do, Erika! Your lime variation sounds lovely.

Amanda said...

Sounds marvelous! I love lemon and lime baked goods, but it's delish ;)

Marly said...

What a beautiful and light cake recipe. I love it! I'm like you - love to fiddle with recipes. Makes life interesting, don't you think?

Unknown said...

Love the idea of the glaze.
I made an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan's French Yogurt cake; next time I'll try it with lime-thanks!

Nancy said...

Hi Erika!!

Chocolate and Zucchini was one of the first blogs I read too!! We love this cake in our house and I love the addition of the lime glaze - will definitely give it a try next time I make it!!

Sippity Sup said...

winning recipes find their way into the hands of artists! Beautiful. GREG

Monet said...

I loved picturing little french children learning how to make this simple cake. Such a beautiful image! And I love how you made this simple cake into something special and uniquely your own. Thanks for always making me smile with your words, photos and recipes. I hope that your Wednesday is full of joy!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Lovely simple cake, probably not too sweet, just perfect by my standards. And, since it has yogurt, that makes it actually good for you..


site said...

This recipe stands out. I could make my own even im in a hurry for office.

Susan said...

Lovely light tasty cake, quick and easy to make. I used fat free home made yogurt, and substituted stewed (pureed) apples for half the oil.
A recipe I shall use again.

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