Plain yogurt is one of my favorite kitchen staples, and it’s not just for breakfast! I use it for so many different things, both sweet and savory.
I was thrilled when I was given the chance to check out Yogurt Culture, an entire book dedicated to all things yogurt. The author, Cheryl Sternman Rule, shares my love for plain yogurt as a blank culinary canvas. Her book is packed with 115 recipes for fun and exciting ways to incorporate yogurt into your diet.
I was really excited to hear that OXO was a sponsor for this campaign, especially when I received a brand new 9″ Whisk. Believe it or not, I prefer to use a small whisk over the larger balloon whisk that I own. I had been using a really old, beat up 9″ whisk for years, because I never found another one that I felt lived up to it.
This OXO whisk has a really comfortable, soft handle that fits incredibly comfortably in my hand, and the wires are nice and sturdy. I’ve had issues with other whisks in the past not holding up well when it’s game time. So this is my new favorite!
This book covers yogurt from all angles, from the history of yogurt around the world, to different yogurt companies and how to read and understand labels and health benefits.
There are recipes from all over the globe for yogurt-filled snacks, dips, condiments, dressings, beverages, entrées, breads, desserts and more. There’s even a section on how to whip up homemade yogurt, Greek (strained) yogurt & one of my favorite Middle Eastern treats, Labneh.
The photography is gorgeous, and there really is a wealth of information packed in the pages. I’m excited to try out quite a few of her recipes!
For Easter dessert this year, I chose to make her Iced Almond-Lemon Loaf Cake. I ended up running into a little trouble with the recipe. There was a lot of batter, and it ended up overflowing in the oven while baking. Luckily, I put a sheet pan under my loaf pan, so it didn’t make a mess in my oven, but it also didn’t turn out to be presentable as a loaf.
But I saw it as a challenge – I diced up the cake and drizzled on the tangy, lemony icing all over it and made it into trifles!
Served in a glass, these trifles looked super elegant. I ended up packing it up in a glass dish to bring to my in-laws’ house, and it was a big hit. Nobody cared that it wasn’t in cake form.
This cake was nice and moist from the addition of yogurt, and the almond and lemon flavors worked incredibly well together. Next time, I’d either divide the batter between 2 loaf pans and monitor the baking time, or just fill the pan a bit less and maybe make muffins or a mini loaf or 2 with the extra batter.
Even though this recipe presented me with a challenge, it still turned out well and I’m anxious to try out other recipes from the book.
Get a double dose of both almond and lemon in this bright, refreshing baked treat.
For the cake
- 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus soft butter for greasing the pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup almond meal
- Zest of 2 large lemons
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- 1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (not Greek)
For the icing
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (not Greek)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center position. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- Mix the batter. Into a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the almond meal and lemon zest. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the almond extract. Slowly beat in half the dry ingredients, then the yogurt, then the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 to 2 minutes to develop some structure.
- Bake the cake. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until risen and lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Slide a knife around the perimeter and invert the cake onto the rack. Cool completely, then flip right side up.
- Ice the cake. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the yogurt and then the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is smooth, thick, and drips slowly from the whisk. Wave the whisk over the cake to drizzle lines of icing, or scrape the icing over the cake and smooth with an offset spatula.
- Store. Once the icing firms, cover the cake with plastic wrap. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 48 hours, or covered with a layer of foil and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Recipe from Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule
Want to win your own copy of Yogurt Culture, along with a stash of Stonyfield yogurt coupons? To enter to win, leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to use yogurt in the kitchen. The contest will close on Friday, May 29, 2015 at 12 noon (Eastern Standard Time). One winner will be chosen via random.org and will be contacted via email to get mailing information. Prize will be shipped by the sponsor. U.S. residents only. Good luck, everyone!
UPDATE – The winner has been selected via random.org – CONGRATS to 1froglegs!