After the recent website troubles, I finally got some decent sleep (aka passing out beside the cat after a hearty dim sum lunch) and now it’s back to things that adults need to do: taxes! Before I get knee deep into that, I thought I’d share with you what has now become a favorite recipe the past 2 weeks, from which I’ve baked 3 successful and well-devoured cakes.
I’d like to keep it simple today. No complications. This cake is straight up mix and bake. Add the syrup if you want to do something a little fancy, but this cake can shine on its own. I love that I have the option to do the least possible work, and add some spark to it when I’m feeling a little fancy. I suggest you make this right now. It’s really easy and you will find it a good complement to a restful and lazy Sunday. Even if your Sunday is hectic, it’s nice to know that with a few strokes of the hand and 15 minutes in the kitchen, you’re all set for a satisfying snack or dessert.
I plucked the recipe out of my new favorite food magazine, a new find: Waitrose Food Illustrated. I will talk more about that publication on a separate post, because I love it so. If you’ve ever chanced upon that at your bookstore or magazine spot, know that the higher price tag is worth it.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, check out the “A(wesome)-List” on the right, where I constantly add recipes and food-related blogs that I’m currently digging. Share the good karma and say Hi to them when you hop over. I think you just might find a treasure and a treat. :-)
Ingredients [Serves 8, but leaves you wanting more. Double up, I say.]
- 225 grams or 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 190 grams or 1 cup of caster (super fine) sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 125 grams or ½ cup of plain whole milk yogurt
- 60 grams or 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing pan
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons dark agave nectar (you can also use honey)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shelled pistachios
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3 (i.e. standard size) loaf pan with a smudge of butter and line with 2 strips of parchment paper, cross- and lengthwise.
- For the Cake: Stir together flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk yogurt, butter and eggs in a medium bowl until blended. Combine with the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Batter should be smooth.
- Pour into loaf pan and level with a rubber spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a clean toothpick or a cake tester, it should come out clean. If not, place back in the oven for another 5 minutes and check again.
- For the Syrup: Stir together the dark agave syrup and orange juice.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes on the top of the cake with a skewer and brush with the syrup. Let the cake cool in the pan before sprinkling with nuts and serving.
- The syrup makes a nice moist, almost-gooey top, and is the best part in my opinion, like a muffin top that you save for last. If you are cutting sugar in your diet, you can skip it and you will still have a very good cake.
- You can definitely mix and match flavors, add nuts in the batter and dried fruit. I’ve tried a lemon juice, lemon zest and dried cranberries combo for extra zing. Yum!
- This is a fantastic snack to slice and individually pack for road trips or a hike.