Monday, February 1, 2010

Elizabeth's extra cakes - Yiaourtopita and Blueberry Crumb Cake #3

BONUS CAKES! This post is about 2 extra cakes I made this year.

The first is a recipe for Yiaourtopita, which means yogurt cake. (pronounced yeeah-oor-TOH-pee-tah)

I found this recipe on I was making Greek meatballs for some friends for dinner and I wanted a Greek dessert to finish. If you can't find thick Greek yogurt, the recipe says you can start with plain yogurt and strain it to thicken it. I bought Greek yogurt, but used half of it in a cucumber salad (tasty!), so I had to augment the rest with some plain yogurt that I strained. I hate changing more than one thing in a recipe, BUT I also didn't have a 13" square baking pan. I used two 8" round pans instead.

I don't have any photos! Here's why: I found out our friends were coming to dinner only an hour and a half before dinnertime. I ran to the store for ingredients, cooked dinner, and got the cake into the oven at the very last minute. The cakes cooked while we ate the meatballs. When the cakes came out of the oven, we ate them within 15 minutes and polished them off like nobody's business! (because it was nobody's business, alright? Don't make me come over there!) Hence, no pictures.

I will tell you, though, that this cake rocked! It had a slight sourness to it, because of the yogurt, and that made it FABULOUS! When I was plating it up, it looked very plain, so I sprinkled each slice with powdered sugar and put a single strawberry on the side. They looked lovely and tasted terrific. I'll be making this cake often. I love thicker, European style cakes without frosting. I like to call them "Hand Cakes," because you can hold a slice in your hand without getting all messy. Well, unless you're my 18-month-old. (Recipe at the end of the post.)

My other BONUS cake is another Blueberry Crumb Cake (the second for me this year, and the third overall. ....uh..I mean NUMBER ONE overall! YEAH!!! Woot! Woot!)

This is a Dorie Greenspan recipe. She's my new best friend. I adore her and want to be just like her, minus the short, short hair.

I made this for some other friends of mine. We all sat around my table talking and drinking tea/cocoa and eating this cake. Wonderful.

Here is a picture of it in my trash can. What?! YES, that's right. My husband, who liked it very much, decided after a couple of pieces that what he really liked was the crumb topping, so he ate the top off a piece and threw it away. I couldn't believe it! The bottom was MY favorite part. We could have been like Jack Sprat and his wife, for crying out loud!! But Jeff didn't even ask. The nerve. Oh well. I guess it was his piece, after all.

The recipes:


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

* 5 eggs
* 3 cups of all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups of sugar
* 1 1/8 cups of thick yogurt (Greek preferable)
* 1/2 pound of soft margarine (2 1/4 sticks)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons of baking powder
* grated peel of 1 orange or lemon or bergamot orange
* 1 tablespoon of butter
* confectioner's (powdered) sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

In a mixing bowl, beat the margarine with the sugar and butter until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and, alternating between the flour and yogurt, add them slowly to the mix. Mix until smooth and add the grated orange (or lemon or pergamot orange) peel last.

Transfer the mixture to a lightly buttered 13" (or equivalent) cake pan, and bake at 300°F (150°C) for 45 minutes. If desired, when the cake rises, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and cover with foil until done.

Yield: serves 12-15

Note: If the yogurt is not very thick, baking time will need to be increased. Test for doneness.

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Source: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: from My Home to Yours

For the Crumbs:
5 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the Cake:
1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
2 cups plus 2 tsp all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/4 orange
3/4 stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temp
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.To make the crumbs: Put all the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed. Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface. Refrigerate until needed. (Covered well the crumb mix can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

To make the cake: Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 tsp of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside. Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the butter and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract. Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled — it will soon smooth out. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients.) You will have a thick, creamy batter. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries.

Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula. Pull the crumb mix from the fridge and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces. There’s no need to try to get even pieces — these are crumbs, they’re supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size. Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.


ferskner said...

These both sound super tasters! I keep reading it as yougurikopita.

Freaking Jeff and his cake-throwing-away!

I Am An Automaton said...

I wish I was your next door neighbor and you made me cakes whenever you thought I was having a bad day.