Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cranberry yogurt cake

Who here loves cranberries just as much as I do?? Dried, in cookies, with orange; however you like to eat them, they're awesome. Well, maybe not raw. I have a feeling they're pretty nasty raw... but I digress.

Anyways, it's sad to me that fresh cranberries are so seasonal. So when they're around for the season I like to try to use them at least a few times. But what to do when the cranberry bug hits months after Christmas?? Well, did you know you can freeze cranberries to store them? It's true- just pop the bag in the freezer and you're done. Fresh (frozen) cranberries ready to use at any time. It's a great way to make things like orange cranberry sauce or whatever you like well past the holiday season.

Anyways, I made this cake a loooong time ago (I'd posted it on my livejournal account) but figured I should post it on my official food blog. Plus the season of cranberries is soon approaching so it may provide you with an easy recipe to try.

My cranberry yogurt cake was inspired by this recipe I read a while back. In the original she uses raspberries, so I just replaced them with cranberries. You could replace them with any kind of berry, or even no berry at all. This cake is quite forgiving so I think you could add just about anything you wanted to the base recipe.

Now let me clear something, when I say "cake," it's not really the type of cake you'd get from a box mix. It's more of a moist, soft cake you eat sans frosting. Perfect for breakfast, a snack or dessert. What makes it extra wonderful is how quick and easy it is. Seriously, one of the fastest recipes I've ever whipped up, with no necessity for fancy mixers and such. I swear it's almost as easy as a box mix, and a million times more delicious.

PLUS it tastes even better the next day. Don't believe me?! I dare you to try it out.

Here's the cake in all it's glory. Sorry, I couldn't resist a piece.

Closeup of the cake. I actually used a teeny bit of a sugar glaze to sweeten it a bit more because cranberries are nowhere as sweet as raspberries. (See my recipe notes below)

Here's the recipe as written from this post. I made a few changes (see below)

2 eggs
1 cup of plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 or 2 tsp vanilla extract, to taste.
300 grams of raspberries, frozen (no need to thaw them) or fresh

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. In large bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil.
3. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
4. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together.
5. Pour half of the batter into a 9 or 10" cake pan (bottom lined with parchment paper and greased). Scatter half of the raspberries on the surface. Cover the berries with the remaining batter and top with remaining berries.
6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Let stand for ten minutes, and transfer onto a rack to cool.

My changes to the recipe
1. I added ~ 1/4 tsp of salt. Don't know if it made a difference, but I always use a bit of salt in cakes.
2. Used cranberries instead of raspberries.
3. I love the combo of cranberries and orange so I added 1 1/2 tsp tangelo zest + a few TBSP of juice (I reduced the 1 cup yogurt by a teeny bit since I was using a thicker greek yogurt anyways and replaced the volume with the tangelo juice)
4. I didn't add any additional sugar to the recipe (since I don't like super sweet cakes anyways) but the cranberries were definitely a bit too tart for the cake. So instead I added a little sugar glaze (easier to add sugar than take it away!) Dissolved a few heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar in 1-2 TBSP of tangelo juice and glazed the entire cake with it. PERFECT amount of sweetness, for me :)

Additional comments
Flavor of the batter is very delicate but would work easily on it's own or with other berries. I would have preferred a bit more orange zest as a better balance since I used so many cranberries. Maybe a full TBSP next time....



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