Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lemon Yogurt Almond Cake

I don’t know why I waited so long between making this delicious cake and telling you all about it. It may have something to do with the fact that every time I thought about sitting down and writing about this cake, I was suddenly overcome with the desire to make it again and have some rather than just talk about it. The acidity of the lemon zest and the cool tang of the yogurt work so well together; and the combination improves once the nuttiness of the ground almonds gets involved on the back of your palate. Once again, we have here a recipe adapted from a lemon yogurt cake from Ina “start with four sticks of butter” Garten, but in this case, the moniker is undeserved since this ain’t no pound cake. It’s really light and achieves a nice balance between moist, sweet and airy. Combine that with the bright citrusy kick which I so dearly love, and you’ve got a hit on your hands.

Perhaps in future attempts (and there will be several I am sure), I might make this look a little sexier with a powdered sugar-based glaze on top rather than the syrupy version I did on this one. And it would certainly be possible to play around with pan shapes and sizes, or even get crazy and use other types of citrus like lime, blood orange or even grapefruit. Or I could just stop tinkering and make it again already…

Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake
1 cup flour
1 cup finely ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1 cup plain yogurt (Ina said to use whole, but I used low fat—you be the judge)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
Zest of two lemons
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup vegetable oil.
For the syrup:
Juice of two lemons
¾ cup sugar

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C. Butter and flour an 8x8 baking tin and line the bottom with parchment. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until yolks are lightened, just about a minute or two. Add the yogurt, vegetable oil, lemon zest and almond extract and whisk again to combine. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 18-20 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, pour the lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan and place over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the cake is out of the oven and has cooled for about 4-5 minutes, carefully pour the hot syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak in. Cool in pan before removing and slicing.

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