I needed a cake. Badly.
This is not a feeling that I’m familiar with. Needing to bake a cake, yes but needing to eat it no. A little sample perhaps but a whole slice to myself gobbled in just a few greedy bites has never provided me with such wicked glee. I didn’t know that a sponge cake could make me so happy!
Now, I consider myself a relatively patient girl but waiting for this cake to cool, simply was not an option. The fragrance danced seductively around my apartment, swaying itself unashamedly in front of my nose until I could take no more. Well, of course in my haste I burnt three fingers removing it from the tin and a bowl was flung to a messy death on the floor but I assure you my friend, it was worth ten broken bowls!
There’s no denying it, I have fallen in love with a sponge cake. It’s spongy yet light. It’s decadent yet perfect for tea. It’s moist yet has a delicate crumb. It’s comforting without being overbearing. It’s love, sweet delicious love.
The bowls smashed pieces were left strew across the kitchen as I propped myself on the counter giddy with happiness. I had gone totally bonkers, for a cake.
A cake that also happens to be an absolute breeze to make, which in my books holds it in a entirely different league to its time-consuming counterparts. You will need not worry about creaming or getting ingredients to room temperature. And forget about the painstaking process of making sure it’s evenly spread in the tin- this one require nothing more than a gentle shake side to side and an even cake will appear in minutes. Of course if it’s exercise you’re after you could always try this one.
This cake does it all the hard work for you. This is the cake to have on standby in your recipe repertoire. For those days when you have unexpected but need-to-impress guest or frankly when you just want something delicious in the oven for yourself. If this were the 1950’s I’d make it for my husband for tea (as it’s not he gets the leftovers the next day).
I can’t of course claim all the credit for this little delight- honestly I can’t even claim half. But as it’s been doctored with in the past I felt the need to do so myself. I started by cutting down on the sugar (my favourite thing to do) and then I swapped the ground almonds for cashews- just to try and I added a pinch of salt- because I think all cakes need a little salt. Finally I got rid of the drizzle icing- you of course could ice it but I couldn’t wait for the little temptress to cool. I honestly I found it charming enough undressed, minus any gaudy accessories.
Lemon & cashew nut yogurt cake
I think yogurt is a cake’s best friend. It makes it keeps it from drying out whilst maintaining a tender crumb. The secret with this cake is not to get carried away with the stirring. Just enough to combine.
Serves: one greedy girl in several sittings (or 8 lucky guests)
Diet Facts: Oh who cares, it’s love
125ml/1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used 0% Greek)
150g/ 3/4 cup sugar
150g/1 cup plain flour
pinch of salt
75g/1/2 cup ground cashew nuts (or almonds)
2 tsp baking powder
125ml/1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp lemon zest
1/ Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Spray an 20cm/8″ cake tin with cooking spray or grease lightly with oil.
2/ In a large bowl combine the yogurt sugar and eggs until just combined.
3/ Add the flour, salt, ground cashew nuts and baking powder and stir again until just combined.
4/ Add the oil and lemon zest and gently fold in until until incorporated. Pour into the cake tin. Shake the tin lightly side to side to make it even and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until springy to touch and gently pulling away from the sides of the tin.