Celebrate summer with yogurt and berries
As a teen, I dreamed of being a backup singer – a voice in the shadows enhancing the performance of a star. Maybe that’s why I like this cake. It was created to quietly spotlight the fruits and berries of summer. Its slight almond taste complements them beautifully and its sturdy texture stands up to the sauces we like to serve with them.Because it’s prepared with yogurt, less butter than most cake recipes, and served with fruit or berries, it’s a dessert that is lower in fat than many – a real plus for those of us pursuing healthy lifestyles! I present it with strawberries in this column, but any berry and accompanying sauce is just as good. It is also a fine partner for sliced peaches, nectarines, and plums, and their matching puree. The cake is a breeze to make-you don’t even need an electric mixer. It also freezes well; Make it ahead and defrost slices as you need them.Reduced-Fat Yogurt Cake with StrawberriesAdjusted for altitudes from approximately 8,000-10,000 feet
Make in a 9 inch cake pan with at least 2 inch sidesIngredients2 cups of flour-spoon into the cup and level3/4 teaspoon of baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt2 large eggs1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of plain yogurt, preferably low-fat, at room temperature1/2 teaspoon of almond extract4 tablespoons of melted and cooled unsalted butterStrawberry Sauce:1 pint of fresh strawberries or 12 ounces of quick frozen strawberries3 tablespoons of granulated sugar1 tablespoon of lemon juice, strained
Fresh strawberriesPreheat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center position. Line the cake pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Spray all parts of the pan and the lining with flour-vegetable oil spray and spread it evenly with a paper towel.Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed and aerated.Use a whisk for all of the following Mix together the eggs and sugar until well combined in a large bowl, add and blend in the room-temperature yogurt and the almond extract, add the melted butter and completely mix, and gently blend in the dry ingredients. Don’t overbeat.Spoon or pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bate about 30-40 minutes, until the cake is browned and slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.Remove the cake to a wire cooling rack. After about 1t minutes, run a knife carefully between the cake and the pan. When the cake is cool, invert it and remove the paper lining, then, re-invert it, so it is right-side-up, onto a serving plate.
Make the strawberry sauce: Puree the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Taste and add more sugar if needed (under-ripe berries will probably need it). There is no need to strain this sauce, but do so if you don’t like the seeds. You can serve it immediately or refrigerate it up to 4 days.When you are ready to serve the dessert, slice the fresh strawberries and scatter them over slices of the cake. Drizzle the sauce over both.This recipe is adapted from one in Williams-Sonoma “Cake”.Living in the Colorado high country is pure joy. Baking in it isn’t. High altitude makes cookies spread in the pan, cakes fall, and few baked goods turn out as they do at sea level. This twice-monthly column presents recipes and tips to make baking in the mountains successful. Vera Dawson lives in Summit County, where she bakes almost every day. Her recipes have been tested in her home kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude.Contact Vera Dawson with your comments about the Life Is Sweet column or your baking questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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