This cake has been in the pipeline for a while now – when it was raining constantly I wanted to bake it to bring a bit of sun shiny-ness into the house, and now it feels like a welcome acknowledgement that the weather seems to have finally turned and is bestowing on us some sunshine at last.
The initial idea came from the fun and very readable London Bakes; the blogger, Kathryn, posted a recipe for a lemon yoghurt cake and I love Greek yoghurt – in fact its really the only type of yoghurt I actually like and have done since I was little – so immediately wanted to try it out. Then, miraculously it seemed to me, I found a recipe for a very similar lemon yoghurt cake in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, current cookbook and blog inspiration tome of choice. What luck! Kathryn’s is gluten-free and includes a slightly different set of ingredients than Mary’s but both are similar in essence. I decided to add blueberries to mine for the extra bursts of tartness in flavour, and because I think they look so inviting baked in a sponge cake.
It does take a long time to cook, but on the upside that leaves you with a decent interlude for washing up/reading/watching the Winter Olympics. One of my tutors has been raving about the Winter Olympics lately and I have to say I’m glad she has been; I’ve been watching the figure skating and am in awe of everything about it. Me and my housemate also had a good chuckle at the curling – what an unintentionally hilarious sport! Apologies to anyone who is involved in curling who might be reading this – no offence meant – but the way the guys go crazy with their little scrubbing brushes just gets me every time. Also it reminds me of Pingu…remember that episode where the titular penguin and his confusingly twice-named (Robbie, or Seymour? I can’t decide) seal friend play curling with bedpans? Hilarious. All the more so now I’ve seen it with real people. Anyway…
The cake should last a week in the fridge according to Mary – its very moist, mine (with blueberries) even more so I imagine because of the added liquid in the fruit. I like to think that because it lives in the fridge it slots nicely into the ‘healthy snack’ or even ‘acceptable eaten for breakfast’ category. Mary’s recipe includes icing which would definitely take it off the second list, but I left that part out, maybe just so I could have it for breakfast with no qualms whatsoever 🙂 Here’s the recipe:
- 300g caster sugar
- 50g butter
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 225g Greek yoghurt
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- 175g self-raising flour
- about 180g blueberries
Step 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease and/or line a deep cake tin. Mary says 20cm round, I used a loaf tin, purely because that’s how I imagined the shape…as long as its deep I don’t think it matters especially.
Step 2. Beat together the butter, sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl til pale and creamy. Add the yoghurt and grate in the lemon rind. Stir well til smooth.
Step 3. Gently fold in the flour, then whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in a separate bowl. Warm up your upper arm muscles first if you haven’t got an electric whisk and are as lacking in the bicep department as I am. Fold in the whisked egg whites, again very gently and carefully – you need to add both these ingredients using a metal spoon, not a wooden one, and cutting down and folding over the mixture rather than stirring it round.
Step 4. Fold in the blueberries, washed and whole, then pour the cake batter into your prepped tin. Bake for 1 hour to an hour and a quarter. The cake should be well-risen and slightly springy to the touch when it is cooked. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen around the edges and turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling before storing in a tupperware in the fridge.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Except don’t squeeze the lemons; you only want the rind, not the juice. It might never bake to a solid if you add more liquid to this mixture. The baking is the only bit that takes time though, otherwise this is pretty simple and yummy. The icing Mary’s recipe adds, by the way, is 1 and a 1/2 tbsp lemon juice to 100g icing sugar if you wanted to add that. For a special occasion, and perhaps if you were omitting the blueberries, you could decorate the iced cake with niblets of candied lemon peel. I don’t really have any notes for the recipe which is why I’m rambling; basically, its lovely. Back again soon with another foray into bread making! ttfn x