The easiest baking

It’s been ages since I talked about baking on Thistles and Kiwis. I really enjoy the mixing, the measuring and the scent of freshly baked goods. These days I don’t do so much, as it can be hard for the two of us to get through a batch of scones or a cake. Of course, things can be frozen (and forgotten), or taken to work, but it still needs a bit of planning rather than just eating.

Anyway, on Saturday I baked a new cake – a yoghurt cake with fig preserves – from Julia Turshen’s Now & Again, which along with her other book, Small Victories, are firm favourites of mine at the moment. This is a dense cake, rather than a light, frothy sponge. It truly must be the easiest cake ever to make, and that even someone who says they can’t bake, can make.

You need:

2 eggs; 360g plain full-fat Greek yoghurt, 55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled; 100 sugar; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 1 teaspoon salt; 180g plain flour and 150g fig preserves.

A little jar of fig preserve

Now, fig preserve is not that easy to get hold of here. I think next time I make this cake I would use apricot preserve as suggested as an alternative which is so much easier to find.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yoghurt, butter, sugar and vanilla. Mix well – you really just need a hand beater for this but of course you can use an electric one. Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda and salt over the egg mixture and whisk until thoroughly mixed through. Gently stir in the flour until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface so it is even.

Dollop the preserve evenly over the cake batter and gently swirl the preserves into the cake batter. Turshen says ‘the goal is for the cake to have bits of preserve’.

Bake the cake until golden brown and firm to touch, about 55 minutes depending on your oven. Just be aware that if you are testing it with a tester, you may pick up some preserve.

Let the cake cook and serve with more yoghurt. It is just as good, if not better, on day 2, and keeps for up to 3 days if well-wrapped up.

Verdict: tasty, dense cake lovely as a dessert with a cup of coffee.

Make again? Yes

Recipe from Julia Turshen (2018) Now & Again, published by Chronicle Books

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  1. You can sometimes get fig jam here in England which is made in France – I grap a jar when I see it – even though it is quite expensive.
    This recipe sounds a bit like a recent one of mine – with Derbyshire connections – I will have to give it a try – but will have to use apricot jam as I have eaten all mu fig jam over Christmas!


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