My oven currently smells like it's burning off oil that had dripped to the bottom at some point. I should clean it; it really does interrupt the beautiful waft that comes from a springy cake in the oven. I have a handful of prospective projects I am back and forth about between two email addresses that while made with good intentions to keep personal and work separate, have done no such thing. There are threads regarding a potential cookbook, a recipe and article assignment about avocados, a menu card for our fundraiser dinner and open items to finish filing our taxes. Woven in between are emails about Curran's first (overdue apparently, oops) dentist appointment, follow up on invoices and the receipt for that weird oversized shirt I ordered from Nordstrom that I keep there to remind myself to return it some night after the kids are down. I never feel like doing that once the kids are down... but I also don't like going to the mall with two spirited toddlers so you may find me in a terribly unflattering oversized shirt. Anyway. I get stuck on writing here because the balls I am trying to keep in the air follow no apparent rhyme or reason or lessons learned. It feels like a simple yogurt cake on top of the stove is a constant to a life that seems to be buzzing by faster than I can keep up with. The fruit shrinks in after some time in the oven, and because fruit has a lot of water in it, the result is almost custardy which I don't mind at all once it cools. The jammy fruit and cake batter are almost tough to distinguish. It works for breakfast or an incentive for a moderately potty trained little boy or something to bring along on a date with my nieces. There is no frosting or chocolate or decadence really, it's an everyday sort of cake and the only kind that feels right to make around here lately.
STRAWBERRY + RHUBARB YOGURT CAKE // one 8" cake
Recipe adapted from Sarah Waldmans Feeding a Family
I swapped in half strawberries for Sarah's exclusively rhubarb cake because I love the combination and my wee people are fans. I also cut down on the sugar slightly from her suggestion and found it to be plenty sweet. If you don't stock spelt flour, completely all purpose is fine, the texture would probably be better, I just like to sneak some whole grains in there.
You can make this dairy free by replacing the yogurt for a plant based yogurt and the butter for a scant 1/2 cup of coconut oil. It's a pretty forgiving cake.
3/4 cup full fat yogurt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. grated gingerroot (or twice as much crystallized ginger pieces)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup spelt flour (or more unbleached all purpose)
1 cup muscavado or brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup 1" diced rhubarb
1 cup diced strawberries
turbinado sugar, for finishing
creme fraiche, yogurt or ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350' and grease an 8" pan (square, springform, cakepan etc.).
In one mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, butter, vanilla and ginger. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda and stir to mix. Mix the fruit into the dry mix (this helps to keep the fruit from sinking) then gently combine the wet and dry mix together.
Pour the mix into your prepared pan and generously sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
Bake on the middle rack for around 45-50 minutes until the cake is browned on top and a toothpick test shows that the center is cooked through.
Remove to cool so the cake sets. Serve with creme fraiche, yogurt or ice cream.
Cake will keep covered on the counter for two days, beyond that, store it in the fridge as it has a lot of moisture to it.