Irish Soda Bread
This was a busy week. St. Patrick’s Day just screamed at me to make Irish Soda Bread. Tuesdays with Dorie called and, of course, I had baking class. Oh…so many things to bake. So little time.
My daughters and I had a playdate on Monday. A friend of ours had a little St. Patrick’s Day lunch. I offered to bring the Irish Soda Bread. A group in my baknig class had made this last week and I loved its yellow hue and tender crumb. If you’ve never had soda bread, it’s a bit like scones only bigger. It’s not very sweet but the raisins offer a nice contrast to this. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. That is precisely why I added a nice dusting of sugar on the top of my loaf. It added a subtle crunch as well as a little sweetness. Personally, I could have used even more sugar on top. I found this recipe to be a little too bland. A few more raisins would help too.
Normally, I would post all the projects we made in baking class but I forgot my camera. Our group made bread this week. We made olive oil bread, a fabulous recipe created by our lab assistant. It’s a soft, squishy bread flavored lightly with olive oil and molasses. Fresh out of the oven, it is brushed with an olive oil, salt, and garlic mixture. Oh…it is a thing of beauty. We also made foccacia topped with carmalized onions, tomatoes, and olives. This stuff is amazing. It’s my new favorite. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Lastly, although not bread, we made biscotti. Dipped in chocolate. Again…dee-licious! I had actually never had biscotti before. I’m not a fan of hard cookies, but these were really good. They were studded with pecans, cranberries, and white chocolate. Very nice.
So…this brings me to Tuesdays with Dorie. The selection for the week was French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze. This sounded good to me. It wasn’t chocolate, but it seemed like a nice choice. It was super easy to make. I would
French Yogurt Cake
venture to guess even a novice could make it. It didn’t require any fancy equipment and, all except for the lemon marmalade, the ingredients were pretty common. I whipped this cake up in the midst of kitchen chaos. A mini tornado in the form of a 19-month-old girl who decided to empty out my baking cabinet. Somehow, I managed to bake it up without breaking anything.
When the cake was done baking, it was a deep brown. I was worried it might be too dry if I overbaked it. While still warm, I brushed it with orange marmalde (couldn’t find the lemon). The top turned all glisten-y and inviting. Sitting on my counter, it still drew a lot of attention. I could barely control my desire to just break off a piece. One of my daughters cleaned her plate to make sure she got a piece. That’s a feat in and of itself.
Dessert time came. I whipped up some lightly sweetened cream to top off the cake. I served it up to my three girls first. All three of them devoured it and not just the whipped cream. Another feat! My husband thoroughly enjoyed it as well. As for me? Well…let me tell you a little story.
Today after lunch, I wanted something a little sweet. On my counter was the last remaining peice of French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze and a 3-pack of Ferrero-Rocher chocolate hazelnut candy (my favorite!). I reached for the candy. My intention was to only take one piece…but, alas…I decided on the cake instead. That is how good this cake is. No — it’s never going to replace chocolate but it is a nice change. It’s not too sweet and the marmalade glaze made a sticky goodness that I loved. The cake was actually moist and even though it was a deeper shade of brown than I expected, that added a nice change in texture from the cake itself. It’s the kind of desset that doesn’t seem like a dessert at all, but is still satisfying.
I think this one is a keeper!
with Fresh Whipped Cream
French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze
from Baking From My Home to Yours
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 ground almonds (or just use 1/2 cup extra flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I used an orange)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flavorless oil, like canola or safflower
For the Glaze
1/2 cup lemon marmalade, strained (I used orange)
1 teaspoon water
Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 81/2-x-41/2-inch loaf pan and place pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the zest in the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is well blended. Still whisking, add the dry ingredients, then switch to a large rubber spatula adn fold in the oil. You’ll have a thick, smooth batter with a slight sheen. Scrape batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan. It should be golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.
Put the marmalade in a small saucepan or a microwave-safe bowl. STirl i nthe the water adn heat until the jelly is hot and liquefied. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the cake with the glaze.