Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dessert Whore. Who, Me?

You know when you have one of those days where you look at the fridge/pantry/fruit stand and realize - "Oh crap, I need to use this NOW or we're going to have a serious, stinky problem on our hands?" That was me earlier this week when I realized that all at once I had bananas, yogurt and creme fraiche thisclose to nasty.

Maybe I'm being a bit uninventive, but it seems like you can only go sweet with bananas - bread, cake, pie, cookies. You see where I'm going with this? But if I make one more banana bread or banana muffin recipe, Noah might protest. Then I remembered reading a recipe for a simple yogurt cake in On Rue Tatin and figured it could be modified into a banana yogurt cake. Okay, so it's not so far from banana bread, but at least I could pretend. Of course, I'm a meddler, and I looked up recipes for the traditional French yogurt cake at a few other French blog sites and found one I liked slightly better here.

I love baking, even though I am only moderately good at it. Mostly I blame my spotty oven for my many failed baking endeavors, even when it's clearly not Oven's fault. But I got this one mostly right - next time I might decrease the liquid or increase the flour a bit to compensate for the denseness of the bananas. Still, served warm (or cold, a few days later when the flavors have really set) with a dollop of creme fraiche mixed with cinnamon and vanilla sugar, this cake pretty much rocked.

If you're looking for a nice, moderately sweet cake, this is your girl.

Gâteau au Yaourt

modified from a recipe by Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini

- 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) [*I used half yogurt and half creme fraiche]
- 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) [*Because of the added banana, I halved the sugar]
- 80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil (or a bit less than 1 yogurt tub) [*With banana, I tend to use less oils/butter so instead I melted 2 tbsp of butter and added it to the mix in place of oil]
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 4 yogurt tubs)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste/extract
- 1 tablespoon light rum [*I didn't have it, so I left it out]

- *Additionally, I added: 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg to bring out the flavor of the bananas

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 and baking powder. 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.

Creme Fraiche Topping (for 2-4 slices)

1/4 c. creme fraiche
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
a few sprinkles of cinnamon, to taste (about 1/8 tsp)

Mix together, let it sit for a few minutes so the flavors blend, then top the cake with it. You may thin it with a dash of milk if it's too thick for your taste.

1 comment:

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