simply the first

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. πŸ˜›

Pomegranate Yogurt Cake

2 eggs
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

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, yogurt drink, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil.
  3. Sift in flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased 20cm baking tin, and bake for 30-35mins.
  5. Serve with creme fraiche or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

20 thoughts on “simply the first

  1. biebie

    I kid you not, I saw the photo and I could smell freshly baked cake…. Really!

    The cake looks very good, dear! DESPITE it being devoid of chocolates… Does this mean a choco binge next weekend? Hehe… πŸ˜›

  2. happygrub

    We think alike! Haha, there seem to be many yogurt cakes popping all over blog land, we’re just one of the few inclined to try one..

    I notice the napkin..Pretty. I have an obsession with paper napkins. And kitchen stuff as u probably know! We probably share this interest too..

  3. White On Rice Couple

    Believe it or not, we’ve not heard of pomegranate yoghurt drink before!
    I’ve seen a couple of yoghurt cakes on blogs lately too, but I really like yours because of the pomegranite drink! That’ll be a new adventure for us to try to find it.

  4. ovenhaven Post author

    biebie: Thanks, hun πŸ™‚ As for the chocolate binge part, it wouldn’t wait for the weekend; I’m pretty sure I’ll be downing them in bars by midweek. πŸ˜›

    linda: Do give it a try! It’s really quick and hassle-free.

    happygrub: I’d love to have an obsession with paper napkins, but I think I’m more obsessed with paper in general. Ooh, and boxes. And ribbons. Each time I pass a paper/paper product shop, I can never resist the temptation to enter and bask in the company of royal paperness.

    White On Rice Couple: Actually it got released only recently here, and I’m actually not that big a fan of pomegranate, but since that was the only flavoured yogurt drink in the fridge, I thought might as well include it in the bake! πŸ˜›

  5. Indigo

    A craving for something that isn’t chocolate?! Sounds like a foreign idea to me, but I’ll go along with it XD. This looks gorgeous! I’ve had a yoghurt cake recipe hanging round for ages but never got round to making it; now I’m tempted…

  6. didally

    I did see a few food bloggers coming out with their own yogurt cakes as well. These look mildly sweet and not too rich. Really nice to have for a light snack.

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    Indigo: You should just do it! I’ve been putting it off for a long while now, and only decided to do it after having the aforesaid outofthisworld craving. πŸ˜›

    Gigi: Thanks, Gigi πŸ™‚

    didally: Ditto. These were a breeze to snack on. But of course, I just simply had to have them with nutella the next day πŸ˜›

  8. jean-marie

    a) i saw ur photo and i thought you baked cheesecake. like phwaaaaa….

    b) i read the entry, then went phwaaaa……

    c) i saw you in your polka dot dress the other day! i cldnt really see ur face, but brown polka dot, beige tudung, next to very tall guy… confirmed zhullie! πŸ˜€

  9. ovenhaven Post author

    Haha, you make it sound like i’m the ONLY tudung girl who would be wearing a polka dot dress and next to a very tall guy! -_-‘

    But yah you’re right, that was me. Haha. πŸ˜› How come I didn’t see you? You came down to tp again, was it? Or my hometown?? Next time must holler, alright? πŸ™‚

  10. michelle

    that is a good looking cake. sometimes, you just want a nice fluffy, buttery cake, no frosting, just cake.

    for example, i want that right now.


  11. Aimei

    I agree this is definitely a good piece of cake; simple, moist yet taste not compromised. I think this is the type in olden french days grandma used to whip up for their children…I made this before too, though not as nice as yours! Will look forward to more viraitions of yours πŸ™‚

  12. ovenhaven Post author

    michelle: Hey Michelle, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚ And yeah, as weird as it may sound, sometimes the simplest things are the best, aint it?

    Aimei: Yah, I love how simple it is! I wonder if there is actually an Asian/local equivalent to such a cake, in terms of its simplicity and nostalgic feel.

  13. mahek

    I have never tasted a yoghurt cake before….
    can you tell me what i can use instead of pomegranate yoghurt as we do not get flavored yoghurts conveniently
    waiting for reply


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