Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stonyfield #CleanPlateClub: Iced Almond-Lemon Loaf Cake from Yogurt Culture...Made with OXO Kitchen Tools

By now, we’ve established that I don’t bake very often – especially from scratch! However, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself this past weekend. I baked a cake recipe from a great new yogurt cookbook as part of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club. Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule has lots of great recipes – including the Iced Almond-Lemon Loaf Cake I’m sharing with you today. This tasty cake is lightly sweet and bursting with both almond and lemon flavors. I made this cake for our pre-Memorial Day BBQ this weekend, and it was a big hit. It’s just one of 115 great yogurt-centric recipes in Yogurt Culture, which showcases how versatile and tasty yogurt is. Yogurt Culture shows how cooks can use plain yogurt to make flavorful breakfasts, appetizers, main dishes…and delicious baked goods like the moist Iced Almond-Lemon Loaf recipe I’m sharing today.

Although the Yogurt Culture cookbook doesn't specify a preferred brand of yogurt for its recipes, the only yogurt that I use in my kitchen is Stonyfield's delicious creamy organic yogurt. For this almond-lemon loaf cake recipe, I used Stonyfield Smooth & Creamy Lowfat Plain yogurt in both the rich cake batter and the bright lemon-infused glaze. The Stonyfield yogurt incorporated perfectly into the cake batter, providing both moisture and a slight yogurt tang. You could also use vanilla-flavored yogurt to add a light vanilla flavor to the batter if you prefer. 

I also received a pair of super helpful kitchen tools from OXO to help me whip up the cake batter and the tangy lemon glaze. I used OXO’s handy 9” whisk to quickly combine the dry ingredients for the batter – and to whisk together the lemony icing glaze in no time. OXO's wooden reamer made it very simple to quickly and easily extract the juice from the lemons when making the glaze. Both items were simple to use and felt great in my hands. I’m a longtime fan of OXO products, so I know I'll use these two items over and over again! Now let me show you how to whip up a batch of this delicious Iced Almond-Lemon Loaf Cake. Even if you’re not an avid baker – I’m certainly not – Yogurt Culture’s clear step-by-step instructions will help ensure your results come out as great as mine did!

Iced Almond-Lemon Loaf Cake
from Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule
Yogurt appears twice in this sunny loaf cake: A full cup of it gives the batter tenderness and moisture, and a spoonful in the icing delivers tang and shine. Bold lemon and almond flavors play off the yogurt beautifully, enhancing and deepening its impact.
Ingredients (makes one 9-inch loaf):
For the cake:
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus soft butter for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (not Greek) -- I used Stonyfield organic
For the icing:
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center position. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Mix the batter. Into a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the almond meal and lemon zest.
Step 2: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the almond extract. Slowly beat in half the dry ingredients, then the yogurt, then the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 to 2 minutes to develop some structure.
Step 3: Bake the cake. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until risen and lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Slide a knife around the perimeter and invert the cake onto the rack. Cool completely, then flip right side up.
Step 4: Ice the cake. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the yogurt and then the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is smooth, thick, and drips slowly from the whisk. Wave the whisk over the cake to drizzle lines of icing, or scrape the icing over the cake and smooth with an offset spatula. If desired, sprinkle with additional lemon zest for an extra pop of lemon flavor.
Step 5: Store. Once the icing firms, cover the cake with plastic wrap. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 48 hours, or covered with a layer of foil and refrigerated for up to 5 days. To serve, slice the loaf with a serrated bread knife.
This cake is incredibly moist and easy to slice with a serrated knife – the addition of the Stonyfield yogurt gave a bit of tang and moisture to the final result. I loved the texture that the almond meal brought to the cake, as well as the addition of almond extract. The almond paired perfectly with the subtle lemon flavor of the cake! The easy-to-make glaze provided a bright burst of lemony flavor to every bite of cake. This cake isn’t overly sweet, so it would be great for breakfast with a cup of hot tea. I think it would also be perfect paired with sweetened whipped cream and juicy raspberries for a simple Spring or Summer dessert!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the Yogurt Culture cookbook, Stonyfield Yogurt, and OXO kitchen tools to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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