Lemon Yoghurt Cake with Cherry Sauce

12 05 2010

Our friends Meg and Mike moved house recently, and I made this cake for them for afternoon tea (don’t even get me started on how much I adore afternoon tea)…

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman (again)

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
250 ml plain yoghurt
1/3 cup cooking oil
200g sugar
zest of 1 lemon (or lime if you have)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 eggs at room temperature
200g regular flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the topping
1 cup cherries (I still have loads of frozen ones from our cherry picking trip to the Cederberg last year. You could also use raspberries or strawberries though)
1/4 cup boiling water
3 Tbsp sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup cream

WHAT TO DO
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C

2. Grease the inside of a spring-form pan (inexpensive and totally worth having)

3. If you don’t have a springform pan just line the bottom of a regular round or square baking tin with grease-proof paper
I usually just grease how my Mom taught me – with a small square of grease-proof paper and a blob of butter and you rub the butter around the sides

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, oil, sugar, lemon zest and juice

5. Add eggs one by one, whisking well in between

6. Then sift in the remaining dry ingredients and stir gently until just mixed in (don’t over mix!)

7. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and if you stick a knife into the cake it comes out clean (the ultimate test for any baking readiness)

8. Remove the baking tin and transfer to a cooling rack. Unclip sides of springform pan or if using a regular tin just place the cooling rack over the top of the tin, tip it upside down and the cake should come out onto the cooking rack

Cake Topping – optional
1. Add the cherries, boiling water, sugar and vanilla essence to a pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes
2. Leave to cool to room temperature and then just whiz it with a blender for a few seconds
3. Whip cream in a separate bowl
4. Toast Almonds in a small frying pan over a medium heat, stirring often and keep a careful eye on them as they can burn easily! (This step isn’t vital but adds a nice finishing touch and takes just a couple of minutes)

Pour the cherry coulis (sauce) onto the cake, spread evenly with a knife. Then top with whipped cream and again spread evenly with a knife. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve.
You could also leave out the cream for a healthier version.

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