So the other day I wanted to bake something. Something sweet, chocolaty but simple and understated. Well to be honest I didn’t think about those words while looking for a recipe.
On a shelf in my kitchen I have a row of recipe books – my stalwarts. Then I have a box with loose recipes, handwritten ones, torn out of magazines and newspapers – ones, copied ones … a wonderful selection.
It was when going through that pile of recipes that my eyes fell on this yogurt cake – Audrey’s Yogurt Cake (Gâteau Yaourt D’Audrey). I once copied it when I read the book On Rue Tatin by Susan Hermann Loomis.
In this book she tells of her life in France with her family. She tells of the restoration that she and her husband performed on the dilapidated convent they chose for their new home, the social encounters with locals, her baking and her new life in France. Throughout the book she includes delicious recipes that touches at the soul of the region, including Apple and Thyme tart (my next try), Duck breast with Cider and many more.
“This is a cake that every French schoolgirl once learned to make, and many still do, though they now learn it at home rather than at school,” she explains by way of an introduction. She then says that she had collected many recipes for this cake but had never found one that was particularly good until….she was at a school where she taught her weekly English lesson. The teacher came over to ask if she would like to stay for a party after the lesson. For the party the mom of the girl leaving had baked three cakes. The cakes were sliced and served and when she took one bite she realised this was something special. She asked the mother of the child what kind of cake it was. The mother shrugged and said, ”It’s a gâteau au yaourt, nothing more.” So she told the mother it was the best one she had ever had.
Here it is:
Butter and flour for the cake pan
1 ½ cups (210g) plain flour
¾ tsp (4ml) baking powder
3 drops vanilla essence
Pinch fine sea salt
3 large eggs
1 cup (210g) sugar
½ cup (125ml) plain whole milk yogurt (I used low-fat)
½ cup (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
30z (90g) bitter chocolate melted, then cooled
Icing sugar to dust over (optional)
– Butter and flour a 24cm round cake pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190C/gas 5)
– Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
– Whisk together the eggs and the sugar until they are light and pale yellow. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the eggs and sugar, whisking to incorporate them. Fold in the yogurt and vanilla, then the melted butter.
– Pour half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Fold the melted chocolate into the remaining batter until is is thoroughly combined. Pour the chocolate batter on top of the plain batter and run a rubber scraper through the batter several times to make a marble pattern.
– Bake the cake in the centre of the oven until it is slightly mounded and your finger leaves a very slight impression when you touch the top, about 35 minutes.
– Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack.
– Serve when fully cool and if you like, dust the top with icing sugar.
Enjoy, it is truly delicious.
And now for the Apple and Thyme tart….