Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Before we get to the cake, let me digress, generously.
Today, this wackiest Wednesday in my life, nothing can go more wrong in my small world of making food and taking their photos. Lunch was supposed to be a simple fried rice topped with Kak Sarina's fried chicken. I managed to just sightly overcook the rice last night - I put it into the cooker sleepwalking in the kitchen at about 12:15 AM. This morning, without breakfast and any coffee for a kick start, the 50mm lens gave me a slight headache while I tried to muscle Vijay's Manfrotto tripod in front of the chopping board. Things went well with the fried rice until I started on the chicken.
The oil exploded out of my WMF pot onto the hob and the kitchen burnt oil for a few seconds before I turn off the stove. I suspect two things went wrong - the oil at 375 degrees for deep frying is not suitable for a piece of chicken drenched in oyster sauce, and the pot is not meant for deep frying. What ensued was chaos - wiping oil off the counter, binning the burnt chicken, finish frying the rice with oily hands, cleaning the dishes, washing the kitchen towels and... well, short of crying my heart out.
I wanted sunny side up eggs for the rice. The first one broke its yolk while going into the pan. There goes the photo op, I thought, but then there's still the second egg. Guess what? The second egg decided to also broke its yolk before even going into the pan. In frustration and a few expletives, I threw it into the trash (to throw away an edible egg? Yes I was in that bad a shape). The third egg worked, so I continued to wash the burnt pot, scrubbing like a mad woman. It wasn't until its fine edges left a small cut on my finger that I actually stopped, took a deep breath and tried to calm down. By this time Vijay was already back for lunch, fragrant fried rice going down his belly after I told him to do the photos.
That was that. Vijay says even the best cooks have their bad days. So let's talk about happier things shall we? I'm always a little disappointed in my disability to like healthy foodstuff - yogurt being one of them. How do people eat this thing like they're licking ice cream? I've tried to make blueberry smoothies with it and eat it with everything from nuts and fruits to chocolate. Nothing really worked, even the recent raspberry yogurt panna cotta, all pink and shiny but... blergh.
Then I found this cake. One of Deb's latest, I decided to give it a try. What helped me decide? It's simple to make, in one bowl. Did you get that? One bowl. No stand mixer, no greasy butter, no beating whatsoever. On the Friday before the weekend I left KL I made this and prayed I will like it. While it baked I sniffed, and sniffed more. The strong smell of yogurt still prevailed but once out of the oven, the refreshing aroma of lime took over and I resisted taking a bite until I made the sauce to go with it the next day.
It was a delicious ending to my three months break in KL. Even my mother who is quite adverse to the taste of anything dairy liked it. Half went to a friend's house to be gobbled up during the MU versus Liverpool match. *Sigh* for that chicken and egg in the bin. Do I really want to attempt fried chicken tomorrow? One day before going back to work, it's now or never!
Lime Yogurt Cake with Blueberry Sauce
Recipe from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen
For the cake:
- 1 cup whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt (I used 2% Greek yogurt)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (olive oil works as well, for a slightly different flavor profile)
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of one lime
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
- 12 ounces fresh blueberries (frozen should work as well, but you should start with half the water)
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan with oil (I used a butter and flour spray out of habit, which works as well) and line the bottom with parchment paper if the pan is not springform.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, sugar, lime zest and juice. Add the eggs one by one, whisking well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, right over your yogurt batter. Stir with a spoon until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen. If you’re using the springform pan, unclasp the sides. Otherwise, flip the cake onto a plate and flip it back on the rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Make the sauce: Combine blueberries, raspberries, water, sugar and lime juice in blender or food processor. Purée until very smooth, then press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
Do ahead: I have indeed made this cake and kept it at room temperature covered for three days. Chilling is not required for storage, another plus point!
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Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
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