French Yogurt Cake (Deux Ways)

This yogurt cake adapted from Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris is a great "blank canvas" recipe - you can add whatever fruit you have on hand. You see it two ways here, as a loaf with a half-pint of fresh raspberries dumped on top before going in the oven - and as a round cake with a pear & walnut topping. The original recipe calls for canned chopped apricots and a full cup of sugar - which I find too cloying.

Ingredients

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1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

2/3 cup sugar

Large pinch sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 2/3 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 pint fresh raspberries, or 1 chopped pear tossed with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tbsp brown sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 10-inch round cake pan or 9-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, salt and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Add the oil in a stead stream, whisking to combine. Add the eggs one by one, whisking to incorporate after each addition.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; add to the yogurt mixture; whisky lightly to combine. Stir in the lemon zest.

Transfer the batter to your cake pan; top with fruit of choice (or leave naked). Bake on the center rack of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and slightly risen. A toothpick in the center should come out clean. Lift the cake by the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool.

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