Sunday, April 18, 2010

lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce

lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce

Seeing as I can’t get enough of those I Don’t Need A Special Occasion To Make Cake Cakes and also those Of Course You Can Stop By At The Last Minute (psst, ’cause I’d already made some cake) Cakes, I am clearly long overdue to make a classic French yogurt cake. I first learned about yogurt cakes nearly five years ago from Clotilde; they’re perfect anytime-of-day cakes (bless the French for understanding the utmost importance of this), not too sweet, fluffy and perfect just from the oven or wrapped in plastic for a day or two, as the corners soften. Most people don’t measure them — the math is based on the volume of your yogurt cups (they use two), to which you add an equal amount of sugar, a double amount of flour, a little less than one of oil, two eggs and some leavener and flavors.

blackberriesblackberries, sugar and lime juiceblackberry pureestraining the blackberry coulistiny limelimes, minelime zestlimes, used up

Those flavors are usually gentle things, like a bit of lemon zest, or vanilla, a splash of rum or maybe a handful of berries. But I — having all but given up on waiting for the market to produce the things I really want to eat, at least for this weekend — spied a bag of golfball-sized grass-colored limes at Whole Foods this week and did not blink an eye before tossing them onto Jacob’s stroller (I dread when he gets big enough to fill it out, and he can no longer be reasonably expected to schlep groceries home for me) and since I’d already gone down that path, decided not to even pretend that I wanted to resist the 2 for $5 blackberries, admired the pretty pretty grass color against the dark magenta-violet berries and knew at once I’d have to put them together.

greek yogurteggs, flour, yogurt, sugar and limesifter, lift offlime yogurt cake

Thus, a lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce came and went in our kitchen this weekend. I honestly think I believed it would turn out purple and green, like a Mardi Gras headpiece or my favorite color combination in 9th grade (ouch). It is for the best that it didn’t, however, as the pale cake just pops when the fresh blackberry sauce cascades over it. You’ll have more than you’ll need and I encourage you to stir in any unused plain yogurt for an easy breakfast. That ends in cake. As all should.

lime yogurt cake
done

One year ago: Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper
Two years ago: Peanut Sesame Noodles

Lime Yogurt Cake with Blackberry Sauce
Adapted generously from Clotilde’s yogurt cake a handful of yogurt cake recipes

This is another one of those recipes where I’ve changed, uh, just about everything. What it shares in common with the original is yogurt and the basic proportions. To this I’ve added lime zest and juice and a blackberry sauce that shares a hint of the lime. I also rejiggered the instructions to make this a one bowl cake — you know, the most welcome kind.

Don’t etch this recipe in stone — this could make an equally tasty lemon cake with blueberry, raspberry or strawberry sauce or even a gentle orange yogurt cake, simply dusted with powdered sugar. The sauce is optional, but when you find that you have extra (you will, unless you halve it) it makes as welcome a sauce over ice cream as it does stirred into your leftover plain yogurt.

Cake
1 cup whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt (this is the ideal; however, I had success with 2% Greek yogurt)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (olive oil works as well, for a slightly different flavor profile)
1 cup sugar
zest of one lime
1/4 cup lime juice
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Sauce
12 ounces fresh blackberries (frozen should work as well, but you should start with half the water)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan with oil (I used a butter and flour spray out of habit, which works as well) and line the bottom with parchment paper if the pan is not springform.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, sugar, lime zest and juice. Add the eggs one by one, whisking well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, right over your yogurt batter. Stir with a spoon until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen. If you’re using the springform pan, unclasp the sides. Otherwise, flip the cake onto a plate and flip it back on the rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Make sauce: Combine blackberries, water, sugar and lime juice in blender or food processor. Purée until very smooth, then press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Do ahead: This cake keeps very well for up to three days (or so I hear, but have not practiced), wrapped in plastic at room temperature. The sauce can be made up three days in advance, as well. It can also be frozen for future uses.


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