This is a pretty standard yogurt cake, but inspired by another French dessert - poires belle Helene (which I grew up calling paere bel helene, and thinking it was a Norwegian dessert) - I decided to pack it with chunks of pear and dark chocolate. It's an awfully dangerous cake to have around because you can convince yourself that a slice would be appropriate for breakfast, snack or dessert - especially with a little dollop of whipped cream, of course. —fiveandspice
Test Kitchen Notes
Fiveandspice's take on yogurt cake makes a great addition to any baked goods repertoire. The cake, which browns beautifully, has a moist, tender crumb, that contrasts nicely with the studs of slightly firm pear and dark chocolate. Depending on your oven, it may take a bit longer to cook than the time noted, so testing doneness with a toothpick is a must. And yes, it is awfully dangerous to have this cake around - it was gone before the end of the day. - Annie "Smalls" —Annie "Smalls"
1 9-inch loaf cake
1 1/2 cups
all purpose flour
plain, whole milk yogurt
large pear, ripe but still firm, cored and cut into small pieces (leave the skin on)
bittersweet (dark) chocolate chunks (good quality, please)
Preheat your oven to 350F and grease an 8 inch loaf pan with butter. In a small bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour through salt). In medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the yogurt. Then, stir in the dry ingredients, a bit at a time, until well blended. Finally, use a rubber scraper to fold the oil into the batter until it is fully incorporated.
Pour about one-third of the batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle 2/3s of the pear pieces and the chocolate chunks all over the batter. Then, scrape the rest of the batter on top of this and gently spread it smooth. Sprinkle the rest of the pear and chocolate over the top of the loaf and gently press all the pieces down into the batter to partially submerge them.
Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean – 55-60 minutes or so. Then, take the cake out of the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Carefully turn the cake out of the pan, and then put it upright on a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The cake will keep for several days (refrigerate if it’s more than 2 days), and slices are delicious lightly toasted before eating. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.