Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yogurt Cake with Lemon

Continuing my romp through the recipes in the book “A Homemade Life” I decided to try the French Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon since it was my turn to bring dessert this past Wednesday.

My little tour of this book’s recipes may seem like I borrowed an idea from a little reminiscent of “Julie & Julia” but my take IS a little different…I won’t try every recipe, just those that either sound really, really good or those that evoke a sweet memory for me, like this one.

I was in heaven when we visited Limone, Italy, mainly because I love Italy but also because anything citrus is pure bliss for me.  Growing up, I loved Love’s Fresh Lemon (anyone else remember that?) and to this day I still prefer a key lime or lemon meringue pie for my birthday celebration over a traditional confection.

Lake Garda flows from the rocky cliffs of the Alps and Limone is a picturesque town at the north end of the lake. While there, we strolled along the promenade, lunched at one of the many waterfront cafes (I can still taste that pizza topped with fresh arugula) and sipped Limoncello (see photos below).  We also visited an old lemon grove, Limonaia del Castèl, an olive oil mill, and a 16th century chapel, Chiesa San Rocco.

One day, I will return to heaven, but until then, this recipe brought the memory of our visit to Limone instantly back.  France, however, is the inspiration for this cake, Gâteau au Citron in French.  This recipe was first posted on Orangette (Molly Wizenberg’s blog) in August 2004 and that post circuitously brought Molly and her husband together…a very sweet story.    

The recipe for this cake calls for two glazes.  I opted to make just one – “the lemony syrup that soaks into the still-warm cake” – and then topped each slice with a dollop of creamy yogurt and some fresh blueberries.  This moist and luscious cake is not too sweet and the lemon softly whispers “yes, I’m here” to your taste buds.  Perfect with a cup of tea…I am still enjoying little slivers of this heaven.

French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon
A Homemade Life

For the cake:
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
½ cup well-stirred plain WHOLE milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil

For the syrup:
¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter or cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper…grease the paper too.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the lemon zest and incorporate well. 

In a separate large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, and mix well.  Add the flour mixture and incorporate well.  Add the oil and stir well.  The author says that “is will look like a horrible, oily mess, but keep going…”  Your reward will be a lovely, velvety pale yellow batter that you will pour into the prepared pan.  

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool the cake on a wire rack for 15 minutes then run a thin knife around the edge of the pan.  Invert the cake on a serving dish and remove the parchment paper.  Whisk together the syrup ingredients and spoon the syrup over the still-warm cake, letting it run down the sides.

I served slices with a dollop of left-over yogurt and some fresh berries or you can eat it without anything else at all…it’s that good, especially with a cup of tea.
Arugula Pizza

Lemon tile as you enter Limone
Inside the lovely town of Limone


Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

I came over from Rattlebridge because I never pass up a lemon recipe. This sounds a whole lot like one I make only I made mine in a loaf pan. I like your idea that you made this in a round pan. This makes for a beautiful presentation and less baking time.

KnitOne, PearlOnion said...

Thank you for visiting! Love, love, LOVE anything citrus! -- Joann