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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Ring of Pure and Endless Cake (Lemon Cherry Yogurt Cake)


I'm trying to blog every day. It's working, now that I have Google Fiber and a great little computer. Sure, it runs on Windows XP(#hipsteroffice) but it was free! You can't complain about free, can you? And my office is beautiful, with a lot of potential. I'm thinking of starting some fun DIY projects to really beautify my work space. I have a little room in the back of my house that overlooks the backyard, which overlooks the river. It's kind of a catch-all room right now, but once I clean it up and get rid of the big orange chair, it'll be a functioning office that I can do other things in like scan in images and recipes from my favorite books. Or drawings and doodles that I do on napkins when I'm drunk. You know, whatever.

If anybody wants that orange chair, comment below.
SamJack is not for sale
When I have time off, I like to keep busy. I currently volunteer with a group called Young Women on the Move, which pretty much consists of just hanging out with these awesome young ladies and instilling self-actualization while having fun. I basically take a few hours out of my day to show these girls that you can do anything you want, and need nobody's permission to do so. Know what I'm doing now? I'm blogging. Because I'm an adult. I have my own house. My own office. My career. I have those things. An American woman has to work hard to get those things, but it can be achieved. We're planning a big Garage/Bake Sale around the 7th of November, so mark that calendar! I'll definitely keep you posted on the details, because I know you'll want to help support these girls.

Anyway, when I'm not doing that, I'm usually hanging out with friends, but if I have work in the afternoon/evening, I'll have a lot of time in the morning to do things, such as run errands, or bake cakes. I've taken to a lot of experimentation with substitutions(i.e. subbing oil for butter or subbing sour cream for milk in a baked good recipe) lately, and it's really been a lot of fun. Plus, my neighbors totally love me for bringing over all of these cakes and muffins and cookies! I think people should bake more. I think it makes you happy, and it makes the people who receive them happy.

Anyway, I was craving lemon cake but I didn't have enough butter nor did I have enough milk. So I took my favorite recipe and had some fun with it. Fortunately, I had some cherry yogurt in my fridge, so that made it interesting...

Lemon Cherry Yogurt Cake

  • 7 fl oz canola/grapeseed oil(any neutral-flavored oil will do)
  • 2 scant cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 fat pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups AP flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cherry flavored yogurt(I had Belfonte, but you can use whatever brand you prefer)
Preheat your oven to 350. Remember that these substitutions of oil vs butter and yogurt + milk versus all milk will affect your final cake's outcome. Oil results in a moist cake with a nice crumb, but when creaming butter and sugar together, you create air bubbles which will act as a leavener for the cake. Since you can't quite create the same air bubbles with oil and sugar, I added a little more baking soda, a chemical leavener. I also made it 7 oz oil versus 8 oz butter because I knew that there was plenty of fat in my yogurt, and too much fat in a cake can result in a not-so-great thing. 

Combine the sugar and oil together. I used a paddle attachment and beat it together for 2 minutes on medium speed, so to combine/dissolve the sugar. Adding one egg at a time, scrape the bowl down after each addition to ensure even spread. The mixture will start to get a lovely color.

Add the lemon zest, almond extract, lemon juice, and salt. Beat together for 1 minute on medium-high, and then sift in 1 cup of the flour plus your baking soda, followed by your milk. Mix to combine. Add the second cup of flour, mix, then the yogurt. Finish with the final amount of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl down and give a final turn with your paddle before popping your batter into the pans of your choice.

This will yeild two 9" round cakes, or(in my case, since I wanted a ring cake) 1 savarin mould plus 1 6" round cake. Bake at 350 until done, about 30 minutes. My savarin cake was done in about 20, though, so just set your timer for 20 and check.
It's a good idea to trim the brown stuff off of your cakes
before you frost them/cut them for layers. Use a serrated
knife and long gentle strokes!
 I didn't need the extra 6" cake, so I messily trimmed and layered the cake with some of the mulberry jam I'd made from the berries I had picked from my neighbor's yard. I ended up giving the cake to the neighbors. It was a nice day out, and my neighbor is also my mechanic. He fixed my brakes for me when I was in a tight spot, so I like to do nice things in return. As for the ring cake/savarin, I don't like frosting all of the time, so I did something else.

Cherry Yogurt Glaze

  • 1/3 cup cherry yogurt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp water + more as needed
Combine all using a spoon or spatula. Taste for salt and glaze half of your icing over the cake while still warm. When cooled, glaze over the remaining icing. Dust with powdered sugar to serve.
It's a tiny slice so you don't feel bad about eating five of them.
Baking is chemistry; it's science. Science is something that can be tested and explained. So if you're short on milk but have some yogurt and sour cream, just substitute it! See what happens! I mean, really, what's the worst thing that can happen? (#FamousLastWords)

Happy Eating! And if you're in the Kansas City Area, check out LookyLocalKC! I write lists and tips and recipes on there, too, so look and see what Kansas City has to offer! Or just sit and drool and the pictures. Up to you. 

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