Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Awakenings, with Pinkly Peppered Lemon Yogurt Cake

So my blog has been long neglected. Just as the earth has been buried under snow and ice. Unlike winter, though, things in my kitchen have been far from dead. Indeed, this time has been a lovely proliferation of new and exciting recipes. All too many will be lost to the halls of my memories, dust growing ever thicker... Some strong recipes have survived, and will be popping up here in the coming weeks, like the crocuses and daffodils in my yard. Appropriately enough, to welcome this blogging springtime, is a lemon cake! I made this to attend a Time Trade Circle meeting in Cambridge, and it went down very well. When I grabbed the plate to take off people started saying "You are the one who made that? What is it?" and a multiplicity of voices started saying how the TTC should start a cookbook of shared recipes. So as usual I am trying to buy as little as possible and liquidate as much as I can...

One of the things I need to use up are my experimental batches of home made soy yogurt. My house recently acquired one, and I decided I wanted to try my hand at soy yogurt (I have also tried my hand at sesame yogurt.. interesting, and not bad.. could be delightful for baking with). So while I seem to have making soy yogurt down, the milk our machine makes is more of a soy porridge and needs to be strained. This works ok for baking yogurt but not the silky creamy sort of thing. So I have a fair quantity of this grainy yogurt and baking seems like a lovely way to use it up. I first made some of the chai cupcakes from VCTOTW. Dissapointed with them, but much like curries... the flavor did improve the next day. So here I had a potluck, and some soy yogurt to use up. So I hunted down yogurt baking recipes, and Alpine Berry had a tasty looking French-Style Yogurt Cake.

I glanced over the recipe, easy to veganize. and I certainly had every thing on hand. I made a couple of changes though, more lemon peel, and rather than poppy seeds I crumbled some pink peppercorns in a pestle and added them... I feel the flavors were very complimentary, and I would definitely make again. So, onto the recipe. Oh, an unhelpful note.. I have a suspicion I may have ground up half of a vanilla bean.. but cannot remember. Still, a dash of vanilla rarely hurts anything.

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Pink Peppercorns

3/4 cup plain soy yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon's worth of finely grated lemon zest
3 egg replacements (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 T crushed pink pepper corns
1/3 cup canola oil

The juice of a squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line with a parchment circle and butter the paper.

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, sugar, and lemon zest with a wooden spoon. Mix in egg replacer.

Add the flour, baking powder, and poppy seeds. Mix until flour is just incorporated.

Add the oil and mix well. The batter will look curdled at first but it will come together.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, until your cake tester is clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Allow cake to cool in pan on a rack for about 15 minutes.

Gently remove cake from the pan and set on a rack to cool completely.

Combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.

I then cut off "corners" of the cake, to shape it like a sun. I thought it was a nice after-touch, and the people at the pot luck seemed especially impressed with it.

Coming up, sorbets!

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