January 9, 2011

Californian Yogurt Cake

I was ten years old now, up into the double numbers, where I would likely remain till I died. I am awake now forever, I thought suddenly; I have converged with myself in the present. My hands were icy from holding Kidnapped up; I always read lying down. I felt time in full stream, and I felt consciousness in full stream joining it, like the rivers.
--An American Childhood, Annie Dillard
It was around the time I was approaching double digits that I found out we were moving to California — a frightening prospect, especially after my friends informed me that Californians only ate nonfat yogurt. Of course, this was a horrible distortion of the truth, but my impressionable young mind didn't know any better...and to this day, plain yogurt still makes me think of the stereotypical Californian health freak.

Maybe that's why I've never considered yogurt cake a true dessert — and it does tend to lie on the innocent end of the spectrum, as far as cakes go. To further play with this idea, I decided to make a "Californian" version of Dorie Greenspan's French Yogurt Cake by implementing a few healthy tweaks (less oil, more yogurt, and raisins, which are essentially grapes, which are incredibly antioxidant-rich, no?). In the end, I think this cake turned out to be the best yogurt cake I've ever made (and certainly superior to Ina Garten's lemon yogurt cake — a respectable pastry, but a tad too dense, dry, and citrusy for this Californian's taste buds).

"Californian" Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's French Yogurt Cake recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup golden raisins

Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, yogurt, eggs, and extracts. Combine until very smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix; fold in the oil and raisins last and mix until thick and glossy.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.

No comments: