This afternoon was one of the very few when I had a craving for something new, something fresh, something totally non-chocoholic. That’s right, not even the slightest drip of chocolate. Or anything sweet for that matter. My palate yearned for a fuss-free bake that would bring me back to the simpler days of the mother packing me a slice of butter cake when I have the annual school sports day, or the rushed mornings when I’d just grab a couple of slices of Sara Lee’s chocolate pound cake to college.
But at the same time, I didn’t feel all buttery rich today.
Nor was I looking for anything decadently chocolate.
And with that, my mind drifted off to gateau au yaourt, touted to be the first cake French kids learn to bake. Famous for its simplicity in appearance and technique, yet versatility in flavour adaptations, the choice for this afternoon’s epicurean escapism was clear.
A quick rumbling through the bookmarks, comparisons between several yogurt cake recipes, a final tweaking according to the ingredients I had in hand, and several ‘to taste’ moments (read: rough measurements on my part), and less than an hour later, I was soaking in the evening sun with a slice of pomegranate yogurt cake, and a mug of chilled Chinese herbal tea.
And now I seriously wonder why I had been putting off baking yogurt cakes. I’ve had several bookmarked; lemon yogurt cake, blueberry yogurt cake, strawberry yogurt cake, but somehow, the temptation of baking something more intricate or sweet had always won me over. I love the subtleties in the cake. The appearance is not much to ogle at, its sun-kissed skin is unadorned with contrasting colours, and the texture is not complex nor intriguing with a combination of flavours. But you will be bowled over by the subtle pomegranate aftertaste, you will be lost in the fluffy and moist texture of the cake, and you will appreciate the right amount of sweetness of the cake.
You will definitely be seeing more variations of yogurt cakes to come. Feel free to tweak the following recipe according to your tastes, or in my case, according to what you have in your fridge. :P
Pomegranate Yogurt Cake
150ml plain yogurt
1/2 cup pomegranate yogurt drink
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeded
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- In a large bowl, combine yogurt, yogurt drink, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil.
- Sift in flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well.
- Pour into a greased 20cm baking tin, and bake for 30-35mins.
- Serve with creme fraiche or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.