When I saw this yogurt cake on Mimi’s blog, I wanted to make it straight away. She had eaten it at Moro, a restaurant in London, and loved it so much that she made it at home. I can see why, because it is both original and delicious. The nice thing about this yogurt cake is that it is very light and fresh, and with the pistachios and pomegranate seeds it looks very festive as well. There is hardly any flour in it, so it is a lot like a soufflé. Unlike many other desserts, it is not heavy at all, so even after a big meal you can still enjoy this. I liked it so much that I’ve already made it twice.
The first time I made it as one large cake, and noticed that it was a bit difficult to serve it nicely because the cake is quite soft. So the second time I made small cakes in ramekins, and that was a lot easier to serve. Thank you, Mimi, for inspiring me to bake this lovely yogurt cake!
For 4 servings
350 grams (1 1/2 cups) yogurt
3 eggs, separated
75 grams (6 Tbsp) caster sugar
seeds from 2 vanilla pods
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest of a small orange (or 1/2 large orange)
20 grams (2 Tbsp) flour
30 grams (3 Tbsp) pistachios, roughly chopped
seeds from a pomegranate
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Combine 3 egg yolks with 50 grams (1/4 cup) of caster sugar in a bowl, and whisk until pale and creamy.
Add 350 grams of yogurt and the grated zest of a lemon.
Add the grated zest of a small orange.
Scrape the seeds out of 2 vanilla pods and add the seeds to the bowl.
Add the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of flour.
Whisk to mix.
Whisk 3 egg whites in a clean bowl with clean beaters until the soft peaks stage, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of caster sugar.
Whisk until the egg whites are glossy.
Gently old the whipped egg whites into the batter in three additions…
…using a rubber spatula and working from the bottom…
…until the egg whites have been absorbed by the batter. By folding gently, you will keep as much air in the batter as possible.
If making a single cake, line a 20 cm (8″) cake dish with parchment paper and pour the batter into it.
If using ramekins, pour the batter into the ramekins. As you will be serving it in the ramekins, there is no need to butter them.
Flatten the tops with a rubber spatula.
Put the ramekins (or single cake dish) on a baking sheet with a high rim.
Pour boiling water around the ramekins until the water reaches halfway up the ramekins.
Bake for 20 minutes at 180C/350F.
Meanwhile, roughly chop 3 tablespoons of pistachios.
After 20 minutes, sprinkle the top of the cake(s) with the chopped pistachios.
Return to the oven and bake until set and the top is golden, about 10 minutes for ramekins or 20 minutes for a whole cake.
Allow to cool to room temperature (but can also be enjoyed warm). Like a soufflé the cake(s) will collapse a bit, but that is fine.
Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds before serving.
This cake is lightly sweet and tart from the yogurt and citrus, so it works very well with a Riesling Auslese from Germany. In this case it is a Mosel Auslese with three stars, which means that only the best grapes with a lot of botrytis have been used to make this wine. Since it only has 7.5% alcohol by volume, there is quite a bit of residual sugar despite the cool climate along the Mosel. The mineral notes in the wine work very well with the citrus and yogurt.
One of my favorite dishes is spaghetti alle vongole.