Here is the first of two posts about Greek yogurt. I hadn’t meant to double up, and I usually try to avoid doing so, but I’m not surprised that it has happened. Along with salt, garlic, lemon & butter, Greek yogurt is one of the ingredients I cook with most frequently, and I never get bored of it as every single pot tastes completely different. Some are tangy, some taste slightly chalky, some taste like crème fraîche but all add a bright, clean richness to food that I love.
I always keep a pot of Greek yogurt on hand in the fridge for making quick herby dips, dolloping on curries and even stirring into pasta; alternating between own brand versions and pots of the really good stuff from week to week. Word from the wise, though – no matter what you’re making, only full-fat Greek yogurt will do. Fat-free versions take all the joy out of something that’s pretty good for you as it is, and they taste bland and uniform, like all of whatever it is that makes each pot taste different has been removed too. Most disturbing.
Along with finding ways to include yogurt in savoury dishes, I’m always looking out for ways to use it in desserts also. Previous successes have included poached rhubarb with yogurt; a clean tasting Eton Mess that had yogurt whipped into the cream and most recently, this deliciously zesty & light blueberry & yogurt cloud cake, based on Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s recipe for blackberry yogurt soufflé cake, which I’ve now made a couple of times and can assure you is a total winner. As well as tasting heavenly with a light-as-air texture, it’s also a good dessert option for those who are concerned about health, as it only contains 100g refined sugar & 50g flour.
BLUEBERRY & YOGURT CLOUD CAKE
This is an unusual recipe, and when it’s going into the tin it seems like it will never work. How could it with no fat, barely any sugar and just a sprinkle of flour? And yet after its time in the oven it comes out a magnificent, towering soufflé; subtly sweet, splodged with juicy berries and fragrant with lemon zest; a triumph by any standards.
4 medium eggs, separated
100g caster sugar
400g whole milk Greek yogurt
Zest of a lemon, finely grated
50g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 150°c. Lightly grease a springform tin and line with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks with 65g of the sugar & the vanilla extract for five minutes, or until the mixture is very thick, pale & creamy and holds a trail when you lift the beaters. Gently fold in the yogurt & lemon zest. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in lightly. If there are a few lumps remaining don’t worry; it’s best not to overwork the mix.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining caster sugar until they hold soft peaks. Fold the whites into the batter very gently along with two-thirds of the berries. Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin & spread it out with a spatula. Dot the remaining blueberries around the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until risen and beautifully golden. Either serve immediately or refrigerate until needed – the cake will shrink slightly in the tin but it will taste just as good. Serve with crème fraîche or more Greek yogurt and some berry compote if desired.
To make a quick blueberry compote for the cake, heat 100g blueberries over a medium heat with half a spoonful of icing sugar, a little vanilla extract, a squeeze of lemon juice & a good splash of water. Mash slightly with a spoon, cook for a couple of minutes then drizzle over slices of the cake while still warm.