I found it a pain to write this blog post, as well as a few others that I was drafting – because I was writing out the recipes and back stories to the recipes when my dear old Mac decided to crash on me, after 3 years of loyal service. Suffice to say, I now have it rebooted, but I have also lost all my associated documents and photographs. Thank God that I had done some backing up a few days ago, so not much was lost. Thus, it was a pain to write this post again, especially after I had written a long chunk of stuff :/ 
Anyhow, this month’s Aspiring Baker’s theme - Aspiring Bakers #4: Love is in the Air (Feb 2011) fell in nicely with my plans for this month, as I had been planning to be sweet and post a series of Valentine’s Day related bakes for my valentine to visually feast on, since he’s not here in Singapore, and I know that he stalks my blog ;p  So I’ll be killing two birds with one stone with this post =) I like the fact that joining such groups force you to think out of the box, and it impels me to do some baking each month, which was part of my baking plan for 2011. This is also the reason why I’ve joined Daring Kitchen, and hopefully, I’ll get the courage up to attempt more recipes to both cook and bake =) 
This is my second attempt at frosting a cake, and although it doesn’t look all that polished, the cake really is yummy and healthy too, because my low-fat, low-sugar yogurt has replaced much of the fat in the recipe.
Now onto the cake. I had some homemade strawberry yogurt lying the fridge, and because I had left it out a tad too long, the yogurt had gotten to a thick consistency, much like Greek yogurt. So I figured it’d be perfect in a cake requiring yogurt, instead of spooning it over my granola in the morning. I adapted a strawberry cupcake recipe from Chie Kato’s book as well as a French gâteau au Yaourt I adapted from Clotilde’s recipe. I don’t have any photograph of the crumb, but rest assured that it is as advertised by Clotilde – fluffy, moist and not overly sweet, almost like a denser version of a strawberry chiffon cake. 
I’ll be posting the recipe for my strawberry whipped cream in another post, so stay tuned for that!
Strawberry yogurt cake
For an 8″ round cake
Ingredients: 
1            large egg
125 ml   yogurt (I used a strawberry-flavored one)
55 g       granulated sugar 
40 ml     flavorless oil (I use canola oil)
125 g     flour, sifted
¾ tsp     baking powder
¼ tsp     baking soda
¼ tsp     salt
¾ tsp     vanilla extract
1 tbl       strawberry puree (optional)    
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the yogurt with the strawberry puree, before adding in the egg, sugar, vanilla and oil. Mix all of them until combined. 
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  4. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture and quickly mix the two together until few small lumps are left. Be careful not to overmix. 
  5. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes in the oven until the top turns golden brown. 
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for at least 10 minutes before transferring it onto a cooling rack. 
Janine’s Jots: 
  • *How to make strawberry puree: what I did was to hull the strawberries, before placing them in a blender to blend. Once blended, you have to strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds of the strawberry (which I forgot to do) so that you get a smooth puree. 
  • I used strawberry yogurt, although an authentic gâteau au yaourt uses natural flavored yogurt. You can actually use any flavor of yogurt you like, in my opinion. 
  • I used a 9″ round pan, which gave me a rather thin cake. The batter is better suited for a 8″ round pan, which I don’t have =/
  • The original recipe calls for 100g of sugar, which I reduced in half because I was going to frost the cake with my strawberry whipping cream. If you are eating the cake plain, do increase the amount of sugar!
  • You can also use the recipe above to make muffins. These should be enough to make 6-8 large muffins. Just reduce the baking time to 15-20 minutes and test for doneness once the tops of the muffin start to turn golden brown. 
In pictures: 
Add sugar, oil, egg and vanilla extract to your strawberry yogurt. 
Mix the ingredients well.
Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture and combine. 
Pour the batter into a greased cake pan. Note that there are still some lumps left in the batter, but that’s okay!
This is what you DON’T WANT to have. An overbaked cake which is more brown than golden brown =/  And see how small my cake is as compared to the pan? Always use the right pan for your batter!
My cake was over-baked because I forgot to use a shorter baking time since my pan was an inch larger than it should have been. Lesson learnt – always follow my instincts! (and also, use the correct pan!) At 20 minutes, the cake was definitely a nice golden brown, but I decided to let it bake for a while more since I wasn’t too sure and at 25 minutes, it came out like this! I had to slice off the top and side portions of the cake before using it because the sides were way too dry! However, I have used this recipe in muffin cases and they bake up real well – they are moist and tasty, with a definite strawberry twang
After cooling the cake, I used a heart-shaped cutter to cut out the two desired heart shapes. I then used my strawberry whipped cream to sandwich them together, before frosting the outside of the cake with it. Technically, the layer you see in the picture is supposed to be the crumb coat, and you’re supposed to add another layer of icing so that it’ll turn out to be smooth and nice. However, since this was for personal consumption and I don’t like overly thick frosting, I didn’t go on to do the second layer. To make up for the general plain-ness of the cake, I sliced the strawberry and fanned it for décor on top. And there you have it, a heart-shaped strawberry yogurt cake with strawberry whipped cream, topped with a fresh strawberry, just for Valentine’s Day =)
PS: I do think a fresh strawberry is an essential part of the cake, and not just for décor because it gives an extra burst of sweetness and slight tanginess when you eat it together with the cake, not to mention the freshness it adds to the entire experience. 
Here’s a final close-up of the cake (or more aptly, a petit four) which I so hastily consumed after snapping a few quick shots (which explains why the exposure and composition’s all over the place): 
Happy Valentine’s, dear 

7 comments

  1. j3ss kitch3n says:

    this is very pretty Janine!! is the cake base soft?

  2. Janine says:

    Thanks :D

    Nope the cake’s not soft like chiffon cakes since it’s slightly more dense than that. It has more of a muffin texture since the method i’m using here is the dry-into-wet method.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Jeannie says:

    Sounds like a great cake! and the photos confirmed that!:D

  4. Janine says:

    thanks jeannie! do try it when you have extra yogurt – it’s worth the try :D

  5. Anncoo says:

    Janine, I like the frosting, looks pretty with the strawberry on top :)

  6. Janine says:

    Thanks Anncoo – I thought I did a messy job for the frosting because I forgot to strain the strawberry seeds from the puree before adding it to the whipped cream, so the frosting was a little lumpy :S

  7. Janina says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

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