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Recipe: A French yogurt cake from the book ‘Gateau’ that’s easy as 1-2-3

Gateau au Yaourt (Yogurt Cake) on the left with Gateau a l’Huile d’Olive (Olive Oil Cake).Sheryl Julian

Makes one 8 1/2-inch loaf

Author Aleksandra Crapanzano, who lived in Paris as a child, has written a charming new book on French confections. In "Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes," she tells the story of yogurt cake, which schoolchildren learn to make at an early age. They empty a small jar of yogurt sold in every market, and use the pot as the measuring cup for all the other ingredients that go into the batter. Crapanzano remembers the formula as "1, 2, 3, then 1, 2, 3," which means 1 jar of yogurt, 2 jars of sugar, and 3 eggs, followed by 1 jar of oil, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 3 jars of flour. Cup and tablespoon measurements are given here. The cake is easy and delicious.

Butter (for the pan)
Flour (for the pan)
½cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon, lime, or orange
1cup sugar
cups all-purpose or cake flour
2teaspoons baking powder
¼teaspoon fine sea salt
½cup canola or grapeseed oil

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt and eggs. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon, lime, or orange rind. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Add the oil and whisk until homogenous.

3. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan once hard on the counter to settle any air pockets. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the split in the top of the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

4. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn out and set right-side up on a rack to cool completely.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes"

Makes one 8 1/2-inch loaf

Author Aleksandra Crapanzano, who lived in Paris as a child, has written a charming new book on French confections. In "Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes," she tells the story of yogurt cake, which schoolchildren learn to make at an early age. They empty a small jar of yogurt sold in every market, and use the pot as the measuring cup for all the other ingredients that go into the batter. Crapanzano remembers the formula as "1, 2, 3, then 1, 2, 3," which means 1 jar of yogurt, 2 jars of sugar, and 3 eggs, followed by 1 jar of oil, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 3 jars of flour. Cup and tablespoon measurements are given here. The cake is easy and delicious.

Butter (for the pan)
Flour (for the pan)
½cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon, lime, or orange
1cup sugar
cups all-purpose or cake flour
2teaspoons baking powder
¼teaspoon fine sea salt
½cup canola or grapeseed oil

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt and eggs. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon, lime, or orange rind. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Add the oil and whisk until homogenous.

3. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan once hard on the counter to settle any air pockets. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the split in the top of the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

4. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn out and set right-side up on a rack to cool completely.Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes"


Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.