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.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.
--An American Childhood, Annie Dillard
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
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.