Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

This is a classic and simple way of making a cake that turns up with minor variations in quite a few different countries. I first came across it in France where it often seems to be the first cake that children are taught to make because it’s easy, very forgiving and there’s no weighing needed.

For this month’s Random Recipe challenge Dom of Belleau Kitchen has asked us to select from our cuttings, clippings and old hand-written recipes. I'm very happy to do that – in fact, I should do it more often. Reaching into the magic cupboard containing my ‘library’ I came up with a notebook containing a mixture of hand-written and torn-out recipes dating from the 1990s. From that I randomly selected this yogurt cake, or I should really say ‘gateau au yaourt’ since it’s taken from a French magazine (although I'm not sure which one).

Lemon or lime is more commonly used to flavour this cake, but grapefruit is actually a very pleasant change. I have to confess to making two minor changes to the recipe. I added the grapefruit liqueur because I just love the stuff – it’s entirely optional. I also reduced the amount of sugar a little. Classically, the ratio used for the cake is one pot of yogurt, two pots of sugar and three pots of flour but, although that’s easy to remember, I think it’s a bit too sweet.

I used a plain, full-fat yogurt for this cake, but flavoured yogurts will work well. It’s also possible to use low-fat yogurt, provided that it’s not too thin – you will lose a little richness in the finished cake, though. Although I didn't add one this time, it’s quite common to make a syrup to drizzle over the cake, especially if you’re using it as a dessert.
Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
1 pot plain yogurt, 150 g (see note above)
2 eggs
1½ yogurt pots of caster sugar
3 yogurt pots of plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
½ yogurt pot of sunflower (or other neutral oil)
Zest of 1 small grapefruit
1 tbsp grapefruit liqueur

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and line a cake tin. I followed the French instructions and used a 22 cm cake tin, which produces a relatively thin cake. If you’d prefer a taller, more British cake, then use a smaller tin – around 20 cm should be fine.

Place the yogurt in a bowl. Wash out and dry the yogurt pot to use as a measure for the other ingredients. Whisk the eggs into the yogurt one at a time.

Once the eggs are combined, whisk in the sugar followed by the flour. It’s best to add the flour gradually to ensure that you don’t get any lumps in the mixture. It’s important to combine everything well but don’t overdo the whisking at this stage.

Gradually pour in the oil while continuing to whisk gently. Finally, stir in the grapefruit zest and liqueur.

Pour the finished mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for around 35 minutes or until a knife-point inserted into the centre comes out clean.

You have to admit, that's a pretty easy cake. En effet, c'est du gâteau.

20 comments:

  1. I havent had grapefruit gâteau before and this looks really nice. Imagining how this would taste like of course doesn't compare to how delicious it would be to having a slice :)

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  2. I love the 'magic cupboard'... and what a cake. Such simplicity but such incredible yealds. I have a cake recipe very similar for lemons and agree that the much neglected grapefruit must work beautifully here. I love it and it's a great random recipe entry, so thank you x

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  3. That really sounds interesting, I have bookmarked this one, thanks Phil. have a good Easter, Diane

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  4. I have often looked at recipes for yoghurt cake and not taken the plunge yet.....this looks lovely, I love the idea of grapefruit flavour, what a good way to use yoghurt liqueur.

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    1. I'll just re-engage brain....grapefruit liqueur !!!!

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  5. Magic Cupboard. Brilliant.

    What a great idea to put grapefruit into the cake. I bet it tastes wonderful!

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  6. Have made it with lemon, but grapefruit is a great idea.

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  7. Where does one find grapefruit liqueur?! I think I will have to just use grapefruit juice or maybe some Cointreau which I think would add a nice complmentary flavour. Love the tip of using the yogurt pot as a measuring device. This is just how I learnt to make yogurt cake in France. Bravo!

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    1. I must admit that grapefruit liqueur is a little difficult to find in the UK. It used to be a bit of a niche product in France too, but it's become a popular alternative ingredient in kirs recently and so most large French supermarkets have one or two different types. Cointreau would make a fine alternative, as would limoncello.

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  8. I love this yoghurt pot cake - mum gave me a version and it's so easy but gets such good results!

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  9. Love the idea of using grapefruit - I've made similar with lemon before but it had never occurred to me to switch up the fruit. I'm also interested in the grapefruit liqueur!

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    1. I really don't know how easy it might be to get grapefruit liqueur outside of Europe - I suspect that it might not be easy at all. My favourite brand is made by Giffard in France, if that helps. The cake will work without it, though, I promise.

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  10. Very handy recipe for when the scales are broken/are not around! Love the idea of using grapefruit too - a very interesting change. Grapefruit should be used instead of lemon or lime more often! Grapefruit liqueur sounds heavenly!

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  11. I have a similar recipe for a French yogurt cake and I top mine with some jam or marmalade while it's still warm. Who can bother most days with making a syrup or glaze? Your cake looks wonderful and I am intrigued by grapefruit liqueur. I'll certainly be looking for it next time I'm in an airport duty free, as I am pretty sure the controlled liquor store here in Dubai won't have it. More's the pity.

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  12. Oh another version of the classic French yogurt cake. Instead of liqueur I often add the juice at the same time as the zest of a lemon, orange or grapefruit.

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  13. I live both lemon and lime cakes - and can't believe that I've never thought to use grapefruit - thanks Phil.

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  14. I actually love lemon and lime cakes - I don't quite live them!!!!!!!

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  15. Oh you and your grapefruit liqueur Phil! Zesty cakes are so scrumptious, I don't think I've ever tried grapefruit though. I now feel a serious lack in that department.

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  16. I liked the sound of grapefruit and yoghurt combination; being a fan of both, I am looking forward to trying this one out - as always, your cake is ever so inviting!

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  17. I have plenty of gâteau au yaourt recipes, but have never actually made one! I must be the only French person who never made one as a child – I was all about the apple crumbles when I was little. I'm intrigued by the grapefruit liqueur, I will have to search some out (probably quite a mission in rural NZ…).

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