Thursday, 5 November 2009

Cider Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt cake is apparently a very British thing, with some web sites noting that they are quite prevalent amongst British-run chalets. Essentially it substitutes yoghurt and oil for milk and butter in a cake, with the other main components of flour, sugar and eggs kept. The recipes available on the Internet are all very simple to follow, and effectively give ingredient quantities in ratios.

I was first introduced to it a few years ago by a friend of mine, who made it for our Bible fellowship group. More recently I've had grown tired of eating yoghurt and mixed fruit for breakfast, and considered this to be a quick way to rid myself of those things. Today's post however is a complete failure, largely because I have forgotten to include eggs, the most basic of ingredients in a cake. What I wound up with instead seemed to resemble some sort of hard scone. Either way, this is not going to stop me from blogging about the experience.

The point of this blog after all is more to introduce you to the Basics food range than it is for me to display my cooking proficiency after all. So we start off with the self-raising flour, which would be needed in most cake recipes. I did not notice too much problems with the self-raising flour, although the resulting cake did not rise as much as I thought it would. This may either be due to my accidental exclusion of eggs (refer to further comment at the end of the blog), or the possibility that the flour does not contain enough yeast.

I had wanted to add a bit of an interesting twist to the cake, so I decided to use cider. Not too long ago Sainsbury's was mired in a bit of controversy involving their Basics cider. In addition to being sold in 2 litre bottles, they were also sold in cans, with each can costing 34p. Naturally, they were a cheap source of alcohol, and took a lot of heat for aggravating the UK's problem with drink. The cans were hence taken off, and as a result, I would have to work out how to dispose of the rest of the cider. Do not bother buying this, it is almost indistinguishable from water.

We don't wish to have all that cider sloshing around in our cake mix, so start by bringing 300-500 ml of cider to the boil, aiming to reduce it by two-thirds.

Meanwhile, put your yoghurt into a bowl.

Add 3 parts flour....

... 1 part oil...
... and 2 parts sugar, or in my case, 1 part honey. At this point, remember to add 2 eggs. Once that is done, proceed with the rest of the recipe and add your dried mixed fruit.

Given that the Basics cider tasted horrible, I hedged my bets and divided my cake mixture into two separate tins. Remember to grease them before pouring in the mix. The one on the right contains the reduced cider.

Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 10-15 minutes, checking that it has turned a golden brown during the specified window.

The end result was palatable. It would probably have risen up much more had I added the eggs; they're necessary to store trapped air within its protein structure for the yeast in the self-raising flour to work on, and as the oven heats up, the cake rises.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Self-raising flour£0.431.5kg+£0.32Flour that rises better?
Cider£1.212L+£1.57 for 3LBetter tasting cider. Recommended

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