Friday, April 11, 2008

Apple Almond Yogurt Cake

Earlier this week, Deb of Smitten Kitchen posted about Ina Garten's famed lemon yogurt cake. This is a cake I've been meaning to try because I'm curious about the addition of yogurt to the batter, which promises a moist crumb. Wow, does this cake deliver. It's possibly the wettest cake I've ever tried, just shy of soggy and perfect with afternoon tea. As Deb mentions, the possibilities are endless, and she advises using Ina Garten's recipe as a guide. I decided to try apples and almonds because who doesn't love alliteration?

Apple Almond Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (approximately 1 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup olive or canola oil (canola is more milder tasting)
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced apples (I used granny smith, but any sort which will retain is shape during the baking process should be equally delicious)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (I wish I'd thought to toast them first, next time!)
1/3 cup apple juice
squeeze of lemon juice, fresh, from 1/2 lemon (more if you prefer tarter flavor)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the apples with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold apples and almonds very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup apple juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the apple/lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Many reviewers suggested using a toothpick to prick tiny holes into the cake which would allow the syrup to seep inside.

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