A recipe so easy that a three year old can make it without help prompted a French-inspired baking night, but one with unforeseen obstacles and proof of a very forgiving cake.
Gâteau au yaourt (Yogurt Cake) as noted in Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
(My personal changes noted in italics and in parentheses under each ingredient.)
2 6oz. containers of plain, whole milk yogurt; use the empty containers to measure the other ingredients
(My corner grocer did not have 6oz. containers of plain, whole yogurt. Being Australia, the size of the yogurt available was 180g or ~6.3oz, so I used two, 180g containers of honey flavored, low fat yogurt.)
(Thanks to the notes in the food blog Lights! Camera! Cuisine! which mentioned using 2 or 3 eggs, plus comments I had read that the cake turns out a bit dry, I took the liberty of using all three eggs.)
2 containers sugar or just one, depending on how sweet you like it
(Since I had used sweetened yogurt, I only added only one container of sugar.)
1 tsp. vanilla
(I forgot to buy vanilla...for the last three months.)
Just under 1 container vegetable oil
(I had a choice of Rice Bran Oil or Olive Oil and chose the former.)
4 containers of flour
(This is a fun one...I ran out of flour at about the 2 3/4 containers mark and since I had gone heavy on the wet ingredients - both more yogurt and more eggs than originally called for due to the dry comments again - I knew I had to add something. So, I found some cornmeal, actually polenta, and added a container's worth.)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Crème Fraîche (optional)
(Of course I didn't have any crème fraîche.)
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Use vegetable oil to grease 9-inch round cake pan or loaf pan.
(I used a loaf pan.)
Gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil.
(I whisked the wet ingredients only.)
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; mix gently until ingredients are just combined (don't over mix).
(I dumped all the dry ingredients - sugar, flour, polenta and baking powder - in the middle of the wet ingredients and stirred briefly to combine.)
You can add two containers of frozen berries, one container of chocolate chips or any flavoring you like.
(If you have been paying attention, I'm sure you can guess that I had no flavorings to add.)
Bake for 35 minutes, then five minutes more if the cake doesn't pass the knife test. It should be almost crisp on the outside, but springy on the inside. Let it cool.
(I had to add at least 10 minutes to this time for a total of 45 - 50 minutes.)
And the result? Absolutely fantastic, if I do say so myself. I will admit that I have eaten at least three slices so far. Oh la la! Although after this post, you may have little reason to trust my culinary skills, I think this cake would make a wonderful base for strawberry shortcake, just add strawberries and fresh whipped cream.
If you or a three year old you know attempts this recipe, we'd love to hear how it turns out.