A happy mistake


I do try to get all the zest off, but there's always some left.
I do try to get all the zest off, but there’s always some left.

The starting point for my cooking is not always something that inspires me, or gives me joy. Sometimes it’s something I just want to use up, as usefully and efficiently as possible.

Today was one of those, and luckily the result was much better than the starting ingredient – a large tub of sweetened plain yoghurt that I bought by mistake – deserved.

I was not in my usual store and they didn’t have what I usually get (a natural, organic pot-set yoghurt), so I had to improvise and buy a different brand. And what I thought was plain, ordinary yoghurt turned out to be very sweet indeed. And that’s not something I want with my breakfast.

So, it became the inspiration for today’s bake. I wasn’t going to throw it out; I just figured I could reduce the cake’s sugar content slightly and increase the lemon zest to balance out the extra sweetness.

This feels like an echo of my last cake, but the lemons are just about perfect on the tree at the moment, so they are constantly in my mind. And lemon and yoghurt is such a fantastic combination.

This recipe originally comes from epicurious.com. In the end, it was a  very happy mistake.

cake cooked 1Lemon yoghurt cake

Prepare a loaf tin by spraying it with vegetable oil and tossing around a handful of flour to coat the inside. Tip out the excess.

Sift into a bowl and mix:
1½ cups of plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

In a separate large bowl mix, using your fingers, until the sugar is damp with the lemon:
1 cup sugar (I used a little under, since I had the sweetened yoghurt)
1½ tbs lemon zest

Add and whisk well:
¾ cup yoghurt (original recipe called for whole-milk Greek, I used whole-milk plain sweetened)
½ cup vegetable oil (I used my usual avocado oil)
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, just enough to blend. Pour into the loaf tin and bake at 180C for 50-55 mins (I did 53, and it was good).

Verdict: simple, moist and well balanced. It didn’t last long.


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