I used to be a fanatical cake baker. If we went to a party, I made a cake – the bigger and fancier or more chocolatey, the better. My college friends and I stayed up late, baking things that would then disappear within seconds. It was my cooking signature.
Somehow, though, once I started cooking all my own meals, and discovering the huge world of savory flavors, I sort of lost interest in cake. These days when I bake it needs to be relatively simple, preferably producing something that isn’t too sweet. French yogurt cake (gâteau au yaourt) fits the bill. I first found this on Clotilde’s blog, and have made it many times since. It’s just sweet enough, with a nice tart edge from the yogurt, has a lovely golden crust and a soft crumb. It is the easiest cake in the entire world to make, and it is dreamy with fresh fruit.
This particular cake was made in honor of my grandfather’s 95th birthday, on a blazingly hot Seattle day, with lots of fresh Skagit strawberries. We had leftovers for breakfast!
Gâteau au Yaourt
from the blog Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier (there’s a slightly different version in her book of the same name)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole-milk yogurt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp rum
- 2 cups white flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
Oil a 10-inch springform pan and preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, vanilla and rum in one bowl, and the flour, baking powder and salt in another. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stir until just blended, then scrape into the pan and bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool ten minutes before removing the springform. Eat plain or with lots of sliced strawberries or mangoes.