Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pastel de Yogurt 321

Ok, ask me what I love to eat in Guatemala...go ahead. Ask.

How about the succulent fried chicken, lightly floured and salted that if you were blind folded you'd think you were eating a southern soul food staple? Extremely delicious and yes, I love that crispy chicken skin but nope, try again.

The cute corn tortillas that come to the table wrapped in woven mayan cloth? Yes, delightful. But nope. 

Chocolate? No, not chocolate I'm afraid...Oaxaca rules (the chocolate and almonds carried by Seasons of My Heart is divine!)

Eggplants? Close. Very close. I found these dainty purple lovelies at the San Pedro outdoor market and made this amazing eggplant stew. (read the eggplant stew recipe). Ok, how about a hint like its in the title?

Dude, yogurt? Are you seriously homesick or something?

Yep and nope. The yogurt we've found in San Marcos de Atitlan is...I'm shaking my head because I can't find the right word that will do it justice. 

A wave of cream;
dip into the pool of caresses
a dot escapes on your chin

I was surprised by my recent addiction. It is one of the essentials in our fridge; the first thing we buy when we've run out. The boy loves it too (and he's french!); I've caught him licking the lid, boogieing to his own secret beat...(and well, even Biela come to think of it might have ransacked the garbage one night to excavate the prized plastic pot like she's done in the past).

I loves the guatemalan yogurt (right up there with guayaba). It is hands down one of the best in the world...pure and rich like creme fraiche. We've tried fresa (strawberries) and higo (fig). Fresa wins, our favorito. As much as I delight in ending a meal with it or satisfying my belly whenever I crave it, I've found another way to enjoy it. 

Gateau au yaourt or yogurt cake is adored in France. Ask any french person and there is inevitably a fond memory that comes to mind...probably because it was the first thing made in the kitchen with grandma, the first cooking project in school...the traditional glass or ceramic yogurt container is repurposed to measure and hold the 4-5 ingredients after the yogurt is spooned out into the mixing bowl.

I like this cake because its so minimal, requires little effort...and in 30-35 minutes, you have something to go along with a hot cup of tea. Moist. Not crazy sweet. This cake does not tire. 

It's been raining in the afternoons on the lake. By 3pm, thunder breaks the quiet communion among clouds. Yesterday, I would have told you that I was in Scotland; foggy mists on the loch, the view of the volcano from the house vanished from sight, a sorcerer's magic trick.

the lake on a clear morning

I'm boiling some water now. Sounds like another shower. Let's have a seat and see is if we can find Nessie. Will that be one or two of slices of cake? Enjoy y buen provecho!

pastel (or cake) de yogurt con fresa

Simple Yogurt Cake 3 - 2 - 1 (photos of pastel de yogurt)

3 eggs *tip mix in the eggs after all the ingredients are incorporated
2 cups of flour
1 cup of whole milk yogurt (any flavor, go for the all fat, whole milk)
1 cup of sugar (add more sugar or less to taste)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil (butter, olive oil make the cake too heavy)
1 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder

Pre-heat oven to 200 C or 400 F while you make the batter.

In a bowl, whip eggs and set aside. (I add the eggs at the last step because sugar can easily cook or "burn" the egg yokes creating a skin). Mix yogurt and sugar. Add all the dry ingredients. Finally, mix in eggs. Grease a baking pan (cake, loaf...whatever you have at hand). Pour the batter in the pan. 

Lower heat to 180 C or 350 F. Place pan in the center rack. Back for 30-35 minutes until the top is brown and you can slip a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. This cake will sing from the oven...follow your nose and allow it to tell you when the cake is ready.

Allow the cake to sit in the pan for another 10 minutes after it's come out of the oven. Slice and eat or wrap the cake in cloth for later.

3-2-1 : 3 eggs, 2 c flour, 1 c yogurt, 1 c sugar, 1/3 c oil
 no electricity required
out of the oven and resting


Lan N. Bui said...

Apple falls down the tree. Your culinary skill is amazing and creative. It's an art that pass to generations. My mom was an excellent cook. She created delicious courses for her seven children. Although, in different setting, we have things in common, the love of cooking, being in the warm center of life, the kitchen...You are so talented, I am impressed with you

White Shell Girl said...

indeed! gracias mami y abuelita :)


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