Monday, January 29, 2024

Chez Cindy: Simple French Yogurt Cake


This simple French classic cake is made from a recipe in the cookbook GATEAU The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano.  It is the first recipe in the book, said to be a cake that "every child in France learns this recipe in nursery school, as it could not be easier to make."  The French yogurt is sold in half-cup jars and the jar is used as the measuring cup.  The simplicity lies in the repetition of 1-2-3, then 1-2-3 for the ingredients.  Easy to remember.   

                1 jar yogurt                1 jar oil
                2 jars sugar                2 teaspoons baking powder
                3 eggs                        3 jars flour

This is the basic recipe that can then be embellished as desired, adding in lemon zest and juice to the batter, or topping the baked cake with a sweet apricot glaze.  The choice of pan used is also open for interpretation.  Most commonly used is an 8x4-inch loaf pan, baked for 35-45 minutes.  Adjusting the baking time to 30-35 minutes, a 9-inch round pan could be used.  The cake is simple enough to be made in a bowl with a whisk or can be mixed in an electric stand mixer.  

French Yogurt Cake
1/2 cup plain yogurt  (1 jar)
1 cup granulated sugar  (2 jars)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil  (1 jar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour  (3 jars)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour an 8x4-inch loaf pan.

Place the yogurt into a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar until just combined.  Add in the 3 eggs, mixing after each addition.  Add in the oil, mixing well.  Mix in the flour and baking powder until just combined.  Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan.  Bake for 35-45 minutes, testing for doneness after 35 minutes by inserting a long wooden pick into the center of the cake.  If it is still wet and sticks to the pick, continue baking until the pick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.  Cool in the pan for 10-12 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.  

Dust with powdered sugar or serve with fresh fruit and jam.  

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