I’ve wanted to make a yogurt cake for absolute ages, and when I had the opportunity to make it I turned it into something else that could only be reminiscent of a soufflé.
This is a recipe I’ve been promising for the better part of this month, so I’m happy to be finally sharing it with you.
It all started when I said that I wanted to make a yogurt cake with some fresh blueberries we had. It quickly turned into an idea of a lemon yogurt blueberry cake. It was on a whim but as I ate a bowl of lemon yogurt, I got that baking itch and I acted on it. Going my way again of feeling out what felt right, at that crucial moment when I would add flour I thought that the batter already looked so lovely, what if I just baked it?
As I took photos and followed along with my artist’s temperament that day, I virtually jotted down recipe notes in my shorthand: simplified instructions, details minimal since it’s for me. Most of my recipes are written like that, before I flesh it out. It’s quite a contrast to how I write recipes for this site. This was just one of those times I decide to write it down as I go along, so that I can recreate it again when I want to without trying to remember what I did.
This soufflé, really a flourless cake, is a wonderful thing. Puffed up and beautifully domed, shortly after being pulled out of the oven it sinks into itself. A golden brown exterior makes a striking and elegant contrast to the sunny yellow inside. The lemon flavour itself is delicate; it’s light and satisfying, a lovely way to end a meal.
As my brother is continuing to improve, he’s becoming more and more able to implement food into his diet that he couldn’t before such as small amounts of dairy. He sometimes has butter on his bread or rice cakes and on occasion he will now also eat goat yogurt and goat cheese, including feta, without adverse reaction.
As you may guess, this means that my baking (and cooking) is not always exactly dairy-free anymore and that is reflected in the recipes I’ve been posting here, since listing butter as one of the ingredients along with a dairy-free alternative such as Earth Balance or coconut oil, if possible. The only dairy I’ve worked with has been butter and now also, thanks to this cake, yogurt. My Mum reminds us that food is very communal, and that it’s very important for people to feel a sense of belonging, whether or not they can tolerate certain foods in their diet. While there are many healthier choices of available foods today and greater awareness of these, it is important to have the ability to choose what one eats, and to have the opportunity to try different foods if one wants to, just to have had an experience of them, if nothing else. It’s not about getting hooked on sugar or any particular food addiction, but about having the choice, ability, and opportunity to experience all that life has to offer to each of us as human beings. Food is such a sensory-rich experience that is so basic to everyone, it is naturally sought out and explored for more than its necessary health and energy provisions; it crosses the boundaries of cultures and religions and customs and is experienced and embraced by all. I SO love food blogging!
Lemon Yogurt Soufflé Loaf
Leftover cake can be refrigerated and it’s possibly even better the next day – the refrigerated cake is firmer and has a more distinctive “crumb” appearance and mouthfeel. Cake on the first day is softer and has a slightly foamy texture.
If you can’t find a goat lemon yogurt (I haven’t yet), simply flavour plain goat yogurt with some lemon extract or lemon juice. This also works with honey-flavoured goat yogurt, I imagine. If you can’t tolerate dairy, use a dairy-free yogurt of your choice such as soy or coconut milk yogurt instead and, again, flavour with lemon extract or juice if a lemon flavour isn’t available.
4 large eggs, separated (egg whites at room temperature)
60 grams unsalted butter, room temperature or Earth Balance
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup lemon yogurt
1 tsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Beat egg yolks with a whisk until thick and pale, a visible ribbon should be briefly seen on the surface when the whisk is lifted before the ribbon merges back into the yolks. Beat in butter or Earth Balance well until smooth and creamy without any lumps; it should resemble buttercream. Mix in honey and add yogurt.
In a separate, clean bowl beat room temperature egg whites with water and lemon juice until soft peaks form. Gently fold the soft egg whites into the batter: spread the whites across the surface and cut down the middle of the batter with a rubber spatula, lifting from the bottom and folding batter over the whites on the right side. Repeat on the left and continue this motion, alternating between left and right, until the egg whites are completely folded in.
Add lemon zest and extract, gently mixing into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Like a souffle, it will sink or fall as it cools.
Serve slices with blueberry coulis (see below) and a dollop of lemon yogurt, if you so desire. Enjoy!
About 1 dry pint fresh blueberries
Honey, to taste
Cook blueberries in a small pot over medium heat, with a small amount of water to prevent scorching. Cook until the juices are released and berries have softened. Add honey to taste, if necessary.