So this is what I have been eating for breakfast every morning for the last couple of days. It is moist and light and not too sweet. It is Yogurt cake (or Gateau au Yaourt). Yogurt cake is yummy. It has lots of yogurt, eggs and flour. It has pears too! This cake has to be breakfast-worthy. I’m trying to kid myself that its healthy. Which it probably isn’t – but it is good!
The recipe comes from Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris (she adapted her recipe from Clotilde Dusoulier’s version). Lunch in Paris is a beautiful book, the real story of an American woman, Elizabeth, who meets a frenchman and moves to Paris, only to spend her days browsing through Parisian markets and cooking delicious food. The book is peppered with recipes, and as I read it I sticky-labeled all the ones I wanted to try. This is one of those. I was lured in by the Gateau au Yaourt by its promise to stay moist for days. Mmmm.
YOGURT CAKE WITH BROWN SUGAR PEARS
Adapted from Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris.
1 1/2 firm pears
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup plain yogurt (250ml)
1 cup white sugar (200g)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil (80ml)
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Zest of half a lemon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 25cm round spring-form cake pan and line it with baking paper.
Peel and chop the pears into small cubes. Put them into a bowl and mix in the brown sugar until it coats all the pears. Set aside.
Put the yogurt, sugar, salt and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour in the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly (try putting your bowl on top of a tea towel to stop it from moving as you whisk). Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well after each addition.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into the yogurt mixture. Whisk lightly to combine and add in the lemon zest, if using. Pour the batter into your cake pan and top with the pear mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and risen. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so.
Release the sides of the spring-form tin and remove the baking paper. Invert onto a chopping board, peel off the bottom piece of baking paper and then invert again onto a serving plate. This cake gets moister with age, but cover it with aluminium foil (apparently plastic makes it soggy).
You can leave this cake plain (by omitting the pears) or follow the seasons and use any toppings you like. It is winter here in Melbourne and pears are in season, but you could also use apples tossed in cinnamon or canned or fresh peaches. Fresh raspberries would be delicious too or you could use the canned apricots that Bard originally suggests.