I am sure I’m not alone when I profess my guilt of having more cookbooks sitting rigid on my bookshelf than there are pages of which had been proudly blotched with grease and batter stains.
The ease of having trawling recipe sites and delectable food blogs by the tips of your fingers, merely an ‘Enter’ away, has made it easier to locate recipes based on what you have stowed away in the fridge and pantry, or simply what you feel like having that day. It definitely helps that these recipes are served with mouthwatering photographs on the side, and more importantly, reviews and feedback of others who have tried them. Let’s face it, everyone tends to walk on eggshells when it comes to using up a good block of Ghirardelli or Valrhona, and the last thing you’d want is to take a chance on a never-tried-nor-tested recipe.
But there are most certainly instances when a great photo leads you to a particular recipe, or the enticing verbal descriptions of the resultant bake piqued your interest, only for you to find that it had been adapted from a recipe off your cookbook collection. And you leave a comment reading along the lines of “Oh, I have the same book too! Funny I never noticed the recipe before!”.
I hear a lot of guilty giggles out there…
And so, this is dedicated to all our cookbooks, throwing dirty glances each time we jot down a recipe off a foodblog, one which is barely different from that of page 54 of the cookbook you brought home from the Borders year-end-sale two years ago.
Give your cookbooks a flip, and if any of them carries a yoghurt cake recipe, fight the urge to grab your pen and jot the following recipe. Don’t even think of bookmarking this recipe, but instead, just stick a Post-it Note on the page of your cookbook. Yes, as tempting as it may be, and even though I absolutely loved the simplicity of this recipe and have made three variations of it since, give your cookbook a chance, and make his day.
French Lemon Yoghurt Loaf Cake
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, p.224)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup plain yoghurt (I only had blueberry yoghurt on hand)
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
- Preheat oven to 180C. Generously butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
- Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is fragrant.
- Whisk in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla.
- When the mixture is well blended, gently whisk in the dry ingredients.
- Fold in the oil. The batter will be thick and shiny. Scrape it into the pan.
- Bake for about 50-55 mins, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5mins, then unmold and cool to room temperature on the rack.