Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie—French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze

Lemon Yogurt CakeWhile I was baking Wacky cakes as a child, French children were learning to bake this elegant cake! According to Clothilde, from Chocolate & Zucchini, this is the first cake a French child learns to bake. Most of the measuring uses the handy yogurt tub (which is approximately a ½ cup), and you can see a rendition of this cake with this type of measuring on Clothilde's blog.
"It's particularity is to call for a pot de yaourt (a tub of yogurt),
and to use the empty pot to measure out the rest of the ingredients."
Chocolate & Zucchini
Look! I Can Bake!
The first cookbook I owned was called Look! I Can Cook! I still have it on my shelf. The binding is coming apart and there are some scribbles on the Lemon Meringue Pie page, but the most memorable thing I remember from this book is this quote:

"Remember that all good cooks clean up after themselves."
I don't know why this stuck in my head, but I've even heard myself telling my children the same thing. I think it's a desperate plea not to be the one left to clean up all the flour and sugar spills that are inevitable after baking with children, and now that I'm a mom I'm glad Angela Burdick included this sage piece of advice.

I decided it was time my children learned to make French Yogurt Cake to complement their Wacky Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookie repertoire. So they each took a turn preparing a part of this recipe. And we tried using the one-yogurt-tub form of measurement too.

Lemon Yogurt Cake step 1
Helper #1:
1. Yogurt
2. Eggs
3. Vanilla
4. Whisk

Lemon Yogurt Cake step 2Helper #2:
1. Sugar
2. Lemon zest
3. Blend with fingers

Lemon Yogurt Cake step 3Helper #3:
1. Flour
2. Ground Almonds
3. Pinch of salt
4. Baking Powder

Lemon Yogurt Cake step 4Helper #3 again:
1. Blend everything
2. Oil
3. Blend again

Yogurt is more abundant in France. David Lebovitz did a post in 2005 about the yogurt at his local grocery store. Heck, leave the yogurt out of it…I want one of those beautiful containers. Carol Gillott from Paris Breakfasts painted the yogurt container and uses them to hold water for her watercolors.


Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Vegetable OilThis cake relies on the flavor of the oil. In fact, you should taste the oil before using it in this cake (if only to make sure it hasn't gone rancid).

I tried using both Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) and vegetable oil. Although the olive oil is fruity and nice to use in cooking, we didn't like it in this cake. Its flavor was too prominent and overshadowed the delicate lemon flavor. We loved the vegetable oil version much better. However, don't let me stop you from trying it yourself. Here's a link to Dorie's version on Serious Eats that uses EVO.

As for the marmalade drizzle, you can read all about my Seville Orange Marmalade in my previous post.

After a bit of digging, I found some adorable posters that help French children make this cake.


Makes 8 servings (8½ x 4½ inch loaf pan)

Ingredients for Lemon Yogurt Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
½ cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower

For the Glaze:
½ cup lemon marmalade, strained
1 teaspoon water

You can find the recipe for French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze in the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or here. To see how the rest of the TWD group fared with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger! Thanks to Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction who chose the recipe for this week.

Lemon Yogurt CakeTasting Notes
The light lemon flavor in this tender and moist cake was delicious on its own, but drizzled with the marmalade made it that much more tasty. Two of my kids liked it on its own, but the third ate a chocolate chip cookie instead. Two out of three isn't bad.

Recipe for Next Week (March 24)
Blueberry Crumb Cake on pages 224-225 chosen by Sihan of Befuddlement.

My Bucket List
  • Buy a container of yogurt in France just to keep the container.

  • Links to other French Yogurt Cakes
    • Andrea from Rookie Cookery: French Yogurt Cake
    • Joy from Joy the Baker: Yogurt Grapefruit Cake
    • Molly from Orangette: French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon
    • Yummyaourt: How I fell in love with food: my first yogurt cake

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    RecipeGirl said...

    What a neat recipe. I love seeing the children get involved. My son just asked me the other day if he could bake with me sometime soon! Gotta love that!

    pigpigscorner said...

    The containers look so pretty! I'll remember that tip =) The cake looks so light and fluffy, wonderful flavours too.

    Audrey said...

    I love that you used the rinds in the marmalade as a garnish...I couldn't bear to discard them! I also love (and share!) your childrens' baking repertoire. Wacky cake is one of my standbys, and this will join it!

    Audrey said...

    Shari, I just had to come back and thank you for introducing me to Paris Breakfasts...and I'm ordering that poster!

    Patsyk said...

    What a great recipe to get kids started on baking! I'm bookmarking so I can add it to my list!

    Steph said...

    I'm sure it was fun baking with the kids! Your cake looks very pretty with the decoration on top

    Amanda said...

    How great that the kids did this! I LOVED this cake, it smelled so good while cooking and tasted wonderful :) I paired it with simple lemon curd. YUM!

    Jennifer said...

    Wow, those posters are so cool! (BTW, I've never made or heard of wacky cake!)

    I really liked this cake and loved that there are so many variations.

    snicketmom said...

    Wow, thanks for all the additional info. I want one of those posters! It's great to share a classic cultural experience with your kids,especially if you get to eat the results.

    Anonymous said...

    It is just gorgeous!!! I love your little helpers!

    Anonymous said...

    It makes me so happy to see children learning about great things like this. Very cool, lady. Very cool.

    doughmesstic said...

    Helpers. Oh how I wish I had some.
    Mine just opens the oven drawer, empties it of the contents, and proceeds to sit in it.
    Oh well.
    Great job again this week!

    Anonymous said...

    Wow...lovely looking cakes. And, most of all, I love the little hands, so those photos are so precious...into the scrapbook they go, right? Very fun to see and learn and experience this entire recipe through your eyes.

    Jennifer said...

    You did an amazing job!

    kimberly salem said...

    Such a great recipe to make with the kids! :) I am definitely using olive oil next time... I love its flavor and I thought the canola wasn't that great.

    Unknown said...

    I love all of your photos - so beautiful! Glad you guys had fun baking the cake. This was a great recipe.

    spike. said...

    The marmalade on top looks perfect! Yet another reason to head to Paris-yogurt containers!

    Monica H said...

    I just LOVE the little hands in the sugar. So sweet (pun intended)! I think it's wonder the children helped make these.

    chocolatechic said...

    Awwwhhhh I love the helper pictures.

    Anonymous said...

    Beautiful!! And I love the posters - two thumbs up! :)

    vibi said...

    Hummm... it took me a while to realize it was impossible for you to have such young looking hands! LOL LOL LOL

    But now... I know you cheat! You have helping elves in your kitchen! HEY! THEY should get the credit! LOL LOL

    Lovely, Shari a.k.a. Shari's children!

    Anonymous said...

    Your cakes look wonderful. How cool that you involved your children.
    This is a perfect recipe to make with kids...I may need to round up my niece and nephew.

    Jules Someone said...

    What wonderful helpers! My boy got involved as well. Your marmalade is gorgeous. Lovely!

    Leslie said...

    I love a recipe that can get the children involved! Nice to have helpers to cook and eat. I will have to add yogurt containers to my ever expanding list of things to bring back from Paris.

    Kimberly Johnson said...

    Your cake looks wonderful! My six year old likes to help measure but usually wanders off before the baked goods make it into the oven!

    Heather B said...

    I love your pictures! Great job!

    Passionate Baker said...

    your cake looks fantastic!
    its great you're getting your kids involved.
    great job!<3

    Linda said...

    How fantastic that you got your kids into the action! In this day and age of instant gratification when everything comes already made out of a box, I'm so appreciative when I see people teaching their children the art of home baking.

    Fantastic job Shari...i love this post!

    AmyRuth said...

    It always good to have an extra set of hands in the kitchen to help with the cleaning up. Yes Mam! As always your posts are amazing as well as the photo which is making me hungry. So yummy.

    Elyse said...

    What fabulous helpers you had! They must the reason why this cake looks so darn good! And it does look so good; I'd love a slice right now!

    ais said...

    i like this, ithink it's very delicious i wanna try sometime...

    Cathy said...

    Your pictures are fabulous -- love those little helper hands! -- and I love this cake all the more now that I know that it is the first cake French children learn to make. What a great way of encouraging a love of baking early! Your cake looks wonderful -- we loved this one!

    elisabeth hates said...

    Hey, I live in the Franceland! I'll send you a yogurt container if you really want one! Ha... Although, I guess it's not really the same as coming here to get one yourself...

    NKP said...

    So cute! I love how you encourage your kids in the kitchen.

    Unknown said...

    You have such an amazing site. I am at a loss for words.

    PheMom said...

    Awesome job! I love that the kids got involved too. Your marmalade looks incredible!

    Anonymous said...

    i love yogurt cakes, no matter what country it comes from! everything is gorgeous, as usual!

    Welcome to our crazy blessed life said...

    Beautiful, Beautiful photos!! Love the steps with each of your helpers! :)

    steph- whisk/spoon said...

    your kids made beautiful cakes--you are a great teacher! and i love those posters. they are too cute!

    TeaLady said...

    Love the presentation on the cake. I like the longer zests of lemon/orange cause they look pretty.

    good for you to get the little ones started early.

    Annette said...

    As I was making this, I was thinking that it would be a perfect recipe for children just learning how to bake. I hope your kids had fun making it! I really liked this cake and will definitely make it again. :)

    Di said...

    I should really let my helper into the kitchen more often. I just don't seem to have enough patience a lot of the time. Maybe this weekend...

    Engineer Baker said...

    Oh those are just the funniest posters! Love all the background on yogurt cakes too. Lucky you to have helpers :) Beautiful cake!

    Liliana said...

    Great post! I love those yogurt containers and posters.

    Your cake looks delicious! Thanks for stopping by!

    LyB said...

    So much fun baking with kids! And I have to say, I love the addition you made to your bucket list. :)

    Cooking Rookie said...

    What an amazing cake! Love this blog, so happy I found it. I am subscribing to follow :-)