Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Very Tasty Yogurt Cake for Fall

Mea culpa! In the spring, before my trip to Ireland, the lovely Kristina at Stonyfield Farms sent me some coupons for their organic Greek style yogurt, called Oikos. I had every intention of getting some and using it for recipes and blogging about it because I love yogurt, but somehow the coupons stayed in my old purse and everything else, just about, went into the new one for the trip, so they were never with me when I was at a store that carried the yogurt.

It has taken waaaaay too long, but finally I found the coupons, carried them with me, used them, and made a very tasty yogurt cake using the rich, creamy, tangy plain Oikos yogurt and the recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Baking, pg 224. Although this isn't the best photo, you can see how rich and creamy the texture of this yogurt is.

Because we have fresh Gravenstein apples and because it really feels like fall is coming (we even had rain this weekend) it seemed like a good idea to make a fall themed cake.

Apples and maple syrup are two flavors that remind me of crisp fall days and rich fall colors. The caramel for the apples is made with maple syrup, butter and some cream. When I was cooking some sliced apples one night this week to go with dinner, I started by sauteing them in a little butter, then pouring on some maple syrup and letting them simmer while I cooked other things. By the time I paid attention to the apples, the syrup had caramelized and I could spin caramel threads with a fork dipped in the syrup. The problem was that I didn't know how long that had taken.

Ever the explorer, when it was time to make the filling and topping for the cake, I tried to re-enact caramelizing the maple syrup. First I steamed the apple slices a bit so that I wouldn't over cook the syrup while trying to cook the apples. Using a slotted spoon I transferred the partially cooked apples to a frying pan full of melted butter. After sauteing the apples for a couple of minutes, I poured on a cup of maple syrup, stirred it all together, then let it simmer for about 3 minutes. Later I decided that it should have been longer since I ended up with a pretty soupy sauce. Again using a slotted spoon, I removed the apples and then 1/4 cup of whipping cream was whisked in. After more simmering I decided that it wasn't really going to thicken up, so the apples went back into the sauce, were coated with it, and then half the apple slices were removed...again....with a slotted spoon and placed on the bottom half of the yogurt cake (which I had sliced in half earlier). Because I wanted the maple flavor to sink into the cake, I drizzled a little of the sauce over those apples. I put the top cake layer over them, wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. The rest of the syrup and apples were stored in the fridge.

The next evening I carefully removed apple slices (the slotted spoon was getting a workout) from the sauce and arranged them on the top of the unwrapped cake. The cake had been set on a rimmed plate. Once the caramelized apple slices were in position on top of the cake, I spooned the rest of the sauce over them and over the top of the cake. Lots of sauce spilled down the sides and collected at the plate rim. A gooey, but very, very tasty mess.

I took the cake to a dinner party, but left the camera at home, so the plated cake photo was taken almost a day later and without benefit of the ice cream garnish we had at night.

The Oikos yogurt gives this cake a wonderful tang, very much appreciated as a foil for the very sweet maple-apple sauce. The cake is moist from the yogurt and from the syrup and apple juices, but holds together very nicely for slicing. It really does taste like fall to me. The last slice was even better this afternoon with a cup of tea.

This yogurt cake is super easy to make and goes together quickly. If not dolled up with maple-caramel-apple sauce, it would also taste great plain with a fruit compote and I suspect it would make a great base for strawberry shortcake, too. Go ahead, make a yogurt cake yourself and see. If you can find Stonyfield Farm organic Oikos yogurt in your store, by all means use that for the cake's yogurt. Plain generic yogurt just doesn't have the texture or tang that Oikos has, but if that is what you have available, go for it because this cake is worth making.


Need the recipe? E-mail me and I'll send it to you.

4 comments:

MeetaK said...

oh that does look tasty and sooo moist. yum!

Peabody said...

That's right...you make Fall come darn it all!
I love a good moist yogurt cake...and with Fall apples, sign me up.

Katie said...

Looks wonderful. I especially like how you've sandwiched it with all the apples - yum

Joseph Carr said...

That cake looks very tempting! I don’t usually eat cake and pastries, but after seeing this yogurt cake, I’m suddenly craving for one! I’m sure this one’s very delicious!