French style yogurt cake

cake-6167

My talented friend Sarah over at The Chumsleys invited us to her place for lunch a couple of weeks ago.  During the short time that I sat on Sarah’s couch and nursed Savanna, she disappeared into the kitchen and made this really awesome cake for us.

The cake was moist and delicious, and even better yet it was quick and easy to make.  The original recipe came from Orangette.  It’s a very versatile recipe.  Sarah added frozen raspberries to hers.  When I came home and tried the recipe the same night, I added frozen blueberries to mine.  And in an effort to use less sugar, I reduce the sugar and added some applesauce.  Here’s my version of the cake:

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

For the glaze:

  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Direction

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine. Add the oil and stir to incorporate. At first, it will look like a horrible, oily mess, but keep stirring, and it will come together into a smooth batter. Pour and scrape the batter into a buttered 9-inch round cake pan lined with parchment paper.  Scatter blueberries on top of the batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.

When the cake is thoroughly cooled, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.
Serve.

Frozen peanut butter cheesecake

Two of my colleagues have their birthdays this week, so I’m making a cake for them.  They both like chocolate, and they both like peanut butter.  That makes it easy!

The cake has to be easy, because it’s been crazy busy at work, and I don’t have all night to make a cake and still try to cram in some work and a few hours of sleep.  What can be easier than a cake that doesn’t need to be baked?  A frozen one!

There are a few frozen peanut butter cheesecake recipes on the internet with good ratings.  So I combined them and added a few things I like, and came up with this version.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups rice crispy cereal
  • 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened to room temp
  • 2 cans (5 oz each) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whip cream
  • 3 regular size Reese peanut butter cups, or 2 King size ones, chopped
  • 2x 9″ pie plates

To make the crust:

Melt butter and chocolate chips on medium low heat.  Stir in the rice crispy to coat.  Press the mixture into the bottom/side of the 2 pie plates.  Let the crust cool.

To make the filling:

  • Beat the cream cheese until fluffy with an electric mixture.  It took me about 2 minutes to get to the fluffy stage.
  • Gradually beat in the condensed milk and peanut butter until smooth.
  • Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  • Gently fold in the whip cream and chopped Reese peanut butter cup.  I mean, feel free to use Skor or Butterfingers, or whatever peanut buttery and chocolatey candies you like.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crusts.

You can buy prepared  fudge sauce in a bottle, and just drizzle that over the pie.  I made my own fudge sauce since I happen to have all the ingredients on hand.  This is what I did:

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan, add 1/3 cup of milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and whisk until all ingredients are blended.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of flour, 2 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar to the above mixture, and whisk constantly over medium heat.  If need be, turn the heat up to medium high so the mixture bubbles, still whisking constantly.  Continue until the sauce thickens and becomes shiny and smooth.  Remove from the heat and let cool to a warm temperature.  Drizzle the sauce over the pie, and freeze the pie for at least 4 hours.
  • The last and most important step to ensure your fudge sauce turns out really good: lick the whisk before putting in the dishwasher.  That’s right…go on…lick it.

Ok, so I’ve never claimed to be a cake decorator.  I am a wee bit embarrassed with how the cake looks uneven and sauce drizzle looks messy.  However, the cake received good reviews from my co-workers, and the birthday girls were happy so that’s all that matters!