Earlier this week, my parents celebrated their 35th anniversary. And anniversaries call for cake. Or, in case of my family, they call for the pineapple pastries. Of the sort sold at practically every bakery in India. It's essentially sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and pineapple, then topped with more whipped cream, pineapple slices and an optional cherry.
First step - sponge cake. Except it wasn't. The one I made didn't rise and was too eggy. This is approximately the tenth sponge cake disaster I've had so I think it's time for me to pick another cake as the de facto to-be-iced party cake. Dorie Greenspan doesn't bake sponge cakes, after all. I've tried several of Dorie's cakes and it seemed to me that her French yogurt cake was the perfect fit for the occasion.
After all, Dorie says that French women dress this cake up with cream for their children's birthday parties. And if it's good for the French, it's perfect for me. Plus, I've baked this cake successfully a few times now so this seemed like a safe pick. Except I like living on the edge so I added a twist.
A few days ago, Danone asked me if I would like to sample their newly launched flavored yogurts and give them some feedback. The yogurts come in Strawberry, Mango and Vanilla. Now I am not a fan of mango yogurts generally. And while their strawberry version was nice enough, it was too smooth and lacked the little bits that tell me "they must've put some fruit in there!". But vanilla, that's a clear winner. Health food it's not, packed as it is with sugar. But once you stop thinking about the health angle, you'd notice a beautiful vanilla flavor that would make this yogurt a nice dessert end to a meal.
So back to my twist - instead of the plain yogurt Dorie calls for, I used the Vanilla yogurt. The rest is easy. Zest a lime. Rub the lime zest with 2/3 cup sugar (minus 2 tbsp to account for the sugar that the yogurt will add) until it's moist and fragrant. Add 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt and 2 eggs. Beat untill well mixed. Sift together a cup of flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt and add to the liquid ingredients. Mix well until no streaks of flour remain. Then add 1/3 cup canola oil and stir until everything's well blended into a shiny batter.
Pour the batter in a parchment lined 6 inch square pan and bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 40-50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no crumbs).
I let my cake cool, then cut it into bars to transform into pineapple pastries. So did I get close to the bakery version? Wait until tomorrow to find out.