3 Reasons Why Gâteau au Yaourt Is My New Favourite Cake (And Why It Should Be Yours Too)

A French family classic that deserves cross-the-pond recognition, gâteau au yaourt is my new favourite cake. Here’s why:

1. It's not so bad for you.

Look, I'm not here to convince you that this cake is health food because, let's face it, this recipe is clearly lacking in the spelt department. But with only 1/2 cup of a healthy oil and the option of using lower fat yogurt, you could be doing much worse.

2. It's moist.

When it comes steaming out of the oven and you first cut into it. When you sample it a second time a few hours later (purely out of scientific curiosity, of course) to see how the taste has changed since it's cooled off. Just before bed, after having been left on the kitchen table, uncovered, all day. Again in the morning, despite the plastic wrap that refuses to stick. And in your lunch the day after that. And, well, by day 3 you shouldn't have to worry about it anymore.

3. It's versatile.

This recipe can take you from a cozy afternoon spent in the company of a book and a cup of Earl Grey, to a triumphant strawberry shortcake finish at a summer dinner party, and everywhere in between.

Bake in your favourite berries or fruit for a weekend brunch. Layer with your favourite jam, custard, ganache, crème de marron or Nutella for a simple weekday dessert. Ice and stack with your favourite icing, frosting or whipped cream for a birthday celebration.

Now start playing with the ingredients: substitute ground almonds for a portion of the flour; try flavoured yogurts instead of plain; or intensify the flavour with citrus zest and a splash of juice or your favourite liqueur.

Don’t be shy, it’s a forgiving recipe.

Gâteau au Yaourt

2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt, unsweetened
½ cup canola oil
1 cup sugar (I used a mixture of cassonade and white sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8- or 9-inch cake pan (or line with parchment paper).

In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the yogurt, oil, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and stir just until combined.

Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Source: Chocolate & Zucchini, http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2005/10/gateau_au_yaourt.php, although alternative versions abound.