October 12, 2005
[Gâteau au yaourt]
As I've mentioned before, Maxence is a big advocate of the adage "if it ain't broke don't fix it". In other words, when a classic recipe is fabulous, don't meddle with it, and just do what you're told. Obviously I have trouble following that piece of advice, and more often than not I'll surrender to the urge and tweak a little something here and a little something there -- substitution is my middle name.
But Maxence had been craving the glorious simplicity of a Gâteau au Yaourt for a while (his grandmother's gâteau au yaourt to be specific), and on Sunday afternoon he decided to bake one for us. Gâteau au yaourt, as its name implies, is a cake which calls for yogurt: very easy to make and even easier to love, it is often the first cake that French kids learn how to bake.
It is a fluffy, cloud-like and moist affair, not too sweet, and just perfect for any time of day -- breakfast, dessert, afternoon snack, any time at all, trust me. It is particularly tasty fresh out of the oven when it is warm and crusty (do let it cool for about half an hour), but it will keep delightfully well wrapped in foil for a few days, as the flavors develop and the top crust softens and turns a little melty on your tongue.
And well, I have to admit, however much I liked the raspberry almond variation I made a year ago, this is definitely a cake that's worth eating in its most innocent version. Oh, I'm not saying I won't keep building on it and using it as a base recipe for other cakes -- that's just who I am -- but I will keep pressing Maxence for him to bake me more of this one!
Gâteau au Yaourt
- 2 eggs
- 250ml (1 cup) whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt (if you use two 125ml or 4oz tubs, you can use them to measure out the rest of the ingredients)
- 200g (1 cup) sugar (you can use an empty tub of yogurt and measure the equivalent of 2 yogurt tubs if you used the 125ml or 4oz kind) [2013 update: I now use 160 grams, or 3/4 cup plus 1 scant tablespoon)
- 80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil (or a bit less than 1 yogurt tub)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 4 yogurt tubs)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- a good pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste/extract
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), line the bottom of a round 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil, and rum. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together -- don't overwork the dough. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes, and transfer onto a rack to cool.
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