Inspired by France: The easiest cake you’ll ever make

You may remember this teaser from my last post:

 I am totally in love with this yogurt right now. Coconut with a hint of vanilla, it’s pure heaven in my mouth. My day comes to a standsstill after lunch, when it’s time to eat and savour this most delicious treat.

Something else I’m really in right now is this book:

And NO, I’m not pregnant! I saw this as I was waiting for a table at the farmshop café close to our house. I was intrigued by the cover, with it’s claims of how the French manage to raise well-behaved children and have a life, and more. As a teacher with over 10 years experience with children, (toddlers to teenagers), I’m interested in topics related to child behaviour and good strategies to adopt early; I’ve implemented ‘the wait’ with my students, and it’s proving successful. I’ll also be a mother one day, and will freely admit to putting off having children for many reasons; some of which are because I don’t feel I’m ready, but also because of the drastic changes it can bring. But now I know it doesn’t need to be do drastic, I can parent like a Parisian!

So how is the yogurt connected to the book? One way children in France seemingly learn to wait and be patient, and to understand that good things come to those who wait (instead of the instant gratification that the majority of my students seem to need), is through baking. The wait for the finished product, but also the wait to have it at snack time, around 4 pm, rather than immediately digging in. According to the book, one of the first things French children learn to bake is Gâteau au yaourt, or yogurt cake. Upon reading this, I vaguely remembered a colleague telling me about a cake he makes with our students, using an individual pot of yogurt, then using the empty pot as a measuring cup for the rest of the ingredients. I asked him for the recipe and made one the same evening. The product was a subtly sweet and dense cake with barely any dishes to do afterwards. Awesome!

Yogurt Cake

1 pot of yogurt, 100g-120g, any flavour you like (I used my coconut with a hint of vanilla yogurt)
3 eggs
1 pot vegetable oil
2 pots sugar
3 pots self-raising flour

1. Preheat your oven to 175’C (350’F). Grease and line a small round baking tin or loaf tin.

2. Empty your pot of yogurt into a large bowl, scraping it all out with a spatula. Fill the pot with vegetable oil, and pour this into the bowl. Crack your eggs into this mixture, and beat until fully combined.

3. Add your sugar, and mix again.

4. Sieve 1 pot of flour into the batter and mix until fully combined. Repeat this process, 1 pot at a time, until all flour has been added. The reason being is that if you sieve then mix all the flour at once, it creates lumps in the batter.

5. Pour your batter into your baking tin, and bake for about 25-30 minutes if you’re using a round tin, and 40-45 minutes if you’re using a loaf tin. You can also make cupcakes with this. Your cake will be a deep golden brown, but is only ready once it’s passed the skewer test, (insert a skewer into the thickest part of the cake; if it comes out clean, your cake is ready. If the skewer comes out with batter on it, your cake needs more time in the oven).

You can also add a pot of berries, chocolate chips, raisins or other dried fruit to the cake batter. I added blueberries for my first try, which was delicious. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, or even some frozen yogurt.

Delicieux!

You will find this cake takes less time to make than your oven will take to preheat. And the best part, aside from the taste? Barely any dishes to wash! Once you’ve thrown your yogurt pot into the recycling (or garbage, depending on your home country), all that’s left is your mixing bowl, whisk and maybe spatula? Ideal really.

To paraphrase Marie Antoinette ‘Let [me] eat cake’ when runger strikes. Only joking, but this is a delicious, easy treat to make for a week day sweet something, or for when company comes.

 I will enjoy mine while I continue to read up on the French way…

What’s your favourite easy cake recipe?

Read any good books lately?
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5 thoughts on “Inspired by France: The easiest cake you’ll ever make

  1. It is bread not cake…but I love this recipe.

    BANANA BREAD

    Ingredients

    3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
    1/3 cup melted butter
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    Pinch of salt
    1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (I use half wholemeal or substitute some of the flour for ground flax seed. I also sometimes add poppy seeds.)

    Method

    No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

    Yield: Makes one loaf.

  2. Pingback: 2013: The Year that Was | I Eat Therefore I Run

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