I don't know why, but whenever I'm in Paris, I end up buying way too much yogurt. Maybe it's the endless shelves of yogurt in every supermarket that makes me forget that I don't need quarts of it—or that I'd just bought a quart the day before. Maybe it's the fact that there are so many different kinds of yogurts to choose from—there's non-fat and full-fat, brasse and Greek and Bulgarian and let's not even mention the myriad flavor options. So, I've got a fridge full of the stuff—as always. And now I've got a yogurt cake—as always.
The cake, made with unflavored yogurt and olive oil, is good enough that it would be worth it to go out and buy yogurt for the express purpose of making it. (Of course, I've never had to.) It's a plain cake, rather like a pound cake, but with a somewhat coarser crumb, and it's made without fuss or fancy equipment.
This week's recipe is an olive-oil and lime variation on the cake I usually make with flavorless vegetable oil and lemon. It's great both ways, but I think the evo (extra-virgin olive oil) rendition has a richer flavor.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup EVO (extra-virgin olive oil)
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter an 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, place the pan on a lined baking sheet and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep near by.
Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla. When the mixture is well blended, gently whisk in the dry ingredients. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil. The batter will be thick and shiny. Scrape it into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and starts to come away from the sides of the pan; a knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.
Storing: You can keep the cake at room temperature for at least 4 days or freeze it for up to 2 months