Everybody has a first time. Mine was the summer after fifth grade when I took a special painting class with my fifth-grade art teacher, Mr. Allen, at his house. (I remember I did a painting of a water pump that summer.) It was break time and his wife, Mrs. Allen, brought out a cake delicately dusted with powdered sugar. I must have been especially starving because I think I ate five pieces. And then I did it. It was the first time ever I asked someone for a recipe.
I couldn't believe it when she said it was "yogurt cake." You have to understand: In fifth grade, it was, like, really weird to eat yogurt. Actually, I lie. The official name was "yogurt ring" because she made it in a lovely Bundt pan, which I do not have and am too lazy to get, so from here on out it will be known as yogurt cake. Although, it's not completely like a cake; it's more like a very light, sweet bread or a tea cake. Yes, perfect for teatime, actually.
And of course I had to make a few slight changes. Well, one, really. I used organic white whole wheat flour. And when I make it again, I will sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top to give it a nice crispy sugar coating, because it's not a very sweet cake at all. The sugar on top is what makes it.
Surprisingly, though, even with the whole wheat flour I can still taste the same taste that I first tasted 40 years ago on a warm summer day in the sunshine after working up a good appetite from painting. It's a happy memory. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Allen!
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 single serving containers of flavored yogurt
Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together and add the yogurt. Put the batter into a pan greased with something (I use organic coconut oil spray) and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
In her notes, Mrs. Allen says you can add some milk if the dough seems too thick. Mine was a thick dough (didn't even spread across the bottom of the pan for me), but it quickly spread out and puffed up nicely in the oven!
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com