Monday, October 31, 2011

Yogurt Cake with Apples and Chocolate

I made this cake just yesterday, so it's very seasonal - and will remain so for the next 4 months at least. It was inspired by yet another Food52 recipe, except I swapped out the original pears for apples, since my mom and I share the belief that apples are superior to pears on almost all occasions. (Also, because per my request, my mom sent me some Connecticut grown Macoun apples - a special treat for NorCal - and there's now quite a number of them at home here!)

Other than that, this pretty much follows the standard French yogurt cake guidelines: nothing to beat, plain whole-milk yogurt (only difficulty is finding it in the supermarket in small containers), so easy that it's the first cake French kids learn how to make. There's one substitution that I would advise against making, and it is to substitute olive oil (especially extra virgin) for the canola oil. It's taken me a few previous yogurt cakes to learn to stick to the recipe on this point.

Yogurt Cake with Apples and Chocolate
Adapted from Food52

1½ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup canola oil
1 large apple, cored and cut into small pieces (leave the skin on)
½ cup bittersweet dark chocolate chunks

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease an 8-inch loaf pan with butter. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the yogurt. Then, stir in the dry ingredients, a bit at a time, until well blended. Finally, use a rubber spatula to fold the oil into the batter until it is fully incorporated.

2. Pour about one-third of the batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle two thirds of the apple pieces and the chocolate chunks all over the batter. Then, scrape the rest of the batter on top of this and gently spread it smooth. Sprinkle the rest of the apple and chocolate over the top of the loaf and gently press all the pieces down into the batter to partially submerge them.

3. Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean - 55-60 minutes. Then, take the cake out of the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Carefully turn the cake out of the pan, and then put it upright on a cooling rack (or regular plate) to cool the rest of the way.