Sunday, October 09, 2011

French Yogurt Cake—Happy Birthday, Paige!

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Orange Citrus French Yogurt Cake with Berries, August 2011

I made this cake for a family get-together and it was great, especially with the fresh berries!

Just wanted to wish my friend, Paige, chef extraordinaire, from Kansas, who blogs at A Cooking Life a happy birthday today by finally posting about a wonderful cake I had a couple times in her classes I used to be able to take at the Community Mercantile before we moved to Utah.  Man I sure miss those classes and her!  I learned a lot from her about cooking and baking over the year and a half or so that I was able to take her classes and I’m so happy she started a blog a few months before we moved.

I went back to Kansas this past March to visit friends and had the pleasure of taking another one of Paige’s classes while I was there.  I think seven friends and I attended a class, which was really fun and tasty.  The class was actually one I had taken before, but with a few different dishes.  But Paige made her French Yogurt Cake again that I loved the first time and again this next time as well.  I have lost track of how many times I have made this cake and with how many different variations.  The classic French Yogurt Cake can be made as an all vanilla based simple cake, or with lemon or orange for a nice citrus flavor or as Paige served it, as a chocolate/vanilla marble cake. 

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Lemon French Yogurt Cake, March 2011

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Lemon French Yogurt Cake with Raspberry Coulis and Whipped Cream, March 2011

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Chocolate and Vanilla Marbled French Yogurt Cake, March 2011

After taking Paige’s class in March while I was visiting Kansas, I decided to make two versions of the cake at my friend, Mindy’s house where I was staying.  We were getting together the next night after class with all my “reality sisters” for goodies and friendship and Survivor!  This marbled cake I made was delicious and just like the one Paige served in class.

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The lemon French yogurt cake I made that night as well was just as good as the chocolate marble cake. 

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But I wondered what it would be like to make a whole cake that was all chocolate, so a few month later, I tried it at home.

Choocolate French Yogurt Cake 4-19-11

Chocolate French Yogurt Cake, April 2011

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In June, I made the cake with just vanilla extract and used it for strawberry shortcake.  I sliced the cake in half and put whipped cream and strawberries in the middle as well as more on top.  We had company and I just snapped a few quick photos, but the French yogurt cake worked great as a base for the strawberries and cream!

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There are a few other times I’ve made the cake and didn’t snap any photos.  If you are looking for a simple cake with many different flavor variations, this is definitely one to have in your recipe collection!  I’m sure glad to have it and thank Paige for sharing it.  French yogurt cake has been around for years, but Paige has tweaked it to perfection (her cake has one egg less than traditional French yogurt cakes).  Here is Paige’s recipe--

French Yogurt Cake, by Paige Vandegrift

At one time, this simple little cake was taught to every  French schoolgirl.  It is a humble cake made from ingredients that would be on hand in most French households.  In France, plain yogurt is sold in individual portions in 125ml glass pots (about half a cup).  This cake was made by measuring all of the major ingredients out using the pot the yogurt came in.  It has many, many variations.  I have chosen to make a chocolate marbled variation because it is a bit unusual and very tasty.  See below for other variations.

1  1/2 cups all purpose flour (3 pots) 180 grams

1/2 teaspoon salt

1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar (2 pots) 200 grams

1/2 cup vegetable oil (1 pot)

1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I have used nonfat yogurt with success on all cakes—Katrina)

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% to 65%), chopped—melted and cooled

Butter a 9x2 inch round cake pan.  Flour the pan and tap out the excess.

Place the dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Set aside.

Place the eggs an vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.  Gradually whisk in the sugar until the mixture is slightly thickened—this will only take about a minute.  Gradually whisk in the oil and continue to whisk briskly for another minute.  Fold in half of the dry ingredients, followed by the yogurt, followed by the remaining dry ingredients, mixing after each addition just until blended.

Pour a little more than half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Blend the melted chocolate into the remaining vanilla batter and mix until well combined.  Pour the chocolate batter over the vanilla batter and with the tip of a spatula or a table knife, gently draw swirls through the batter to marbleize it.  Don’t over mix or you won’t have a marble affect—two zig-zag passes through the pan should be sufficient.

Transfer the cake to a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center and a toothpick comes out clean—30 to 35 minutes.  Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Run a knife around the sides of the pan and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.  Serve dusted with powdered sugar with some whipped cream alongside, if you like.

Variations:

*Omit the chocolate an prepare a plain vanilla cake (use vanilla sugar if you have it).

*Omit the chocolate.  Rub the zest of 2 small lemons or 1 large lemon into the sugar before whisking the sugar into the eggs.  Make a glaze with the juice of two small (or 1 large) lemons (about 1/4 cup strained juice) and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.  After the cake has cooled, spoon the glaze over the cake.  The glaze will be thin and soak in like a syrup.

*Substitute 1/2 cup almond flour/meal (about 2 oz.) for 1/2 cup of the flour.  This can be done for a chocolate marbled, vanilla or citrus version.

*Make the vanilla or lemon version (omit the soaking syrup if you make the lemon cake) and when cooled, split the cake horizontally with a serrated knife.  Spread lemon curd or a favorite jam in between the 2 layers and frost the cake with whipped cream.

*Use the vanilla or almond version for strawberry shortcake.

*For the all chocolate version, I used 7 ounces of bittersweet chocolate—Katrina.  Paige has never tried this version.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAIGE!  THANK YOU FOR SO MANY RECIPES, TECHNIQUES, DELICIOUS FOOD AND YOUR FRIENDSHIP OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS!

9 comments:

Amy said...

Looks delicious and I can tell from the picture it's a super moist cake! Wanna try that berry one, so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

spontaneous-euphoria said...

wow I love it! it looks so moist- amazing!

I've never used yogurt in cakes.. must try :)

Paige said...

Katrina, Thank you so much for the birthday wishes and for posting your lovely variations of this cake...I miss having you in class! Here's hoping that your next visit will coincide again with a class.

Curt said...

This really does sound delicious. I love yogurt, but have never used in a cake.

Sippity Sup said...

One cake so many possibilities. Happy birthday indeed. GREG

Fallon said...

What a delicious and great cake!! All you need is 1 good cake to change it up here and there. Happy Birthday to Paige!

scrambledhenfruit said...

What a wonderfully versatile cake! All of the variations look scrumptious, too- they look so moist and delicious. :)

Baking Ribbons said...

All the variations look yummy-moist and tasty!
What a delicious way to honor your friend's birthday!

mei said...

hi. was looking for french yogurt cake variations and stumbled on your blog. LOVE the ideas! yogurt cake is my all-time-favourite recipe. i wonder if you've ever tried using it for the layers in an ice-cream cake? thought of doing that for a friend's birthday, but i'm not sure if it'll be firm enough.