I am a firm believer in ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ and I practice this by eating and eating and eating. I love food. It’s serious. I just got back from London a few days ago where I got to eat everything I loved when I lived there (except crispy shredded beef. Next time, chinese food, next time).
I also am constantly deciding to cook and, therefore, eat healthier food but I hate missing out on the food that I love. Butter! Cheese! Sugar! Life is tough, eh? So last night, after eating healthy all day, I was jonesing hard for a desert of some kind and my super-helpful husband asked ‘what can we bake?!’ that thought stuck in my head and wouldn’t go away.
I am a spontaneous baker and grocery shopper, which leads to an empty pantry. I knew we had yoghurt so I googled yoghurt cake. What did people do before google? It’s like magic. A recipe for an Ina Garten Lemon cake popped up and I just happened to buy lemons that day so while Patrick put Matilda to bed I started baking this cake. I decided to change the recipe, making it healthier but without knowing if it would even taste good in the end.
Honestly, it was amazing. Light and spongey, super lemony (I want my lemon deserts to be really, really lemony) and so, so moist. Patrick and I ate our portions hot and fresh out of the oven and the rest was packed off to Matilda’s kindergarten today. It’s dangerous having that stuff in the house. Make this cake. Make it now and eat it for breakfast if you have too.
Yoghurt Lemon Cake (adapted from Ina Garten)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (slightly less than 1/2 tsp, please)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup plain fat-free yoghurt
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sugar (I’m sure this could be made with honey too, I’ll try that next time)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Line a loaf pan with baking paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup honey, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
We did not use the whole of the sauce, but whatever is left over could be used as a syrup for a glass of delicious lemonade. It would just be a shame to waste it!