23. Make or bake one thing from 10 cookbooks- Baking: From My Home to Yours

16 Aug

I’ve heard that you don’t know what you’ve have until it’s gone.

And then, when you realize what you’ve lost, there’s this sudden woosh of sadness.

I miss having a kitchen. The one in my apartment is, let’s face it, a disaster. You can’t even describe it as “quaint” because that paints the mental image of carved cabinets and finicky ovens. Perhaps a loose knob or two.

No. My kitchen is not “quaint,” it’s “nonexistent.” We’re talking no counter space, microwave, mini-fridge, and a four-burner stovetop. I bought a toaster oven on a desperate February snow day, positive that I could not make it another day without cookies.

It sounds like I’m complaining. I am, a little, I’d admit it. Whining, even. And really, I’ve survived. I’ve lived in the apartment for two years, and I haven’t wasted away to a mere shadow of my former self (I blame the cookies I was so hellbent on).

The problem is, when I get back into a kitchen, I go a little crazy.

I become obsessed with doing all the things I can’t do in my little hole-in-the-wall impostor of a kitchen. Seriously, I think I have dreams about the possibilities. Crazy sparkely dreams filled with flour and sugar and lemons and rainbows.

Ok, maybe not rainbows.

I’m house sitting this week. Besides getting to spend time with these ladies, I also have access to a kitchen. With a counter. And a normal size oven. And a dishwasher.

Be still my heart. I may never leave.

So far, I’ve made vegetarian chili, cheddar cornbread, and soft pretzels. To be fair, it’s been pouring rain, and my favorite place to be when it’s pouring rain, other than back in bed, is the kitchen. There’s just something so insanely movie-romantic about baking when there’s torrential rains going on outside.

Needless to say, the gym has been sorely neglected.

I also made this amazing recipe by Dorie Greenspan. It’s so simple and elegant and ridiculously easy. And it has the word “French” in the title which makes it sound that much more sophisticated. Remember that sophistication when you’re eating this with your fingers while watching bad TV.

I think it might be my “go-to” loaf cake from now on. Everyone needs one of those, right?

French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze

Serves 8 (or 1 if you’re alone for four days and it’s pouring rain outside)

From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan



1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 up ground almonds (or if you don’t have almonds, use another 1/2 cup of flour… that’s what I did)

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup sugar

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup plain yogurt

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup lemon marmalade (optional)

1 teaspoon water (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter gr grease a loaf pan ( 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch). Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet.

2. Whisk together the flour, the ground almonds (if you’re not using them; if not, add the extra flour), baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

3. Put the sugar and the lemon zest in a large bowl and rub the zest into the sugar using your fingertips. Do this until the sugar is moist and really smells like lemon.

4. Add the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl with the sugar and whisk until the mixture is really blended well.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk until well incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the oil. The batter will be thick and smooth and a little shiny.

6. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

7. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides. It will be golden brown on top.

8. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pan. Unmold and let cool to room temperature.

9. To make the optional glaze: Put the marmalade in a small pot or microwave-safe bow. Stir in the water and heat until it is hot and liquefied. Using a brush, gently top the cake with the glaze.

7 days until 26


2 Responses to “23. Make or bake one thing from 10 cookbooks- Baking: From My Home to Yours”

  1. Mom August 16, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Wow – looks great!
    Re #21, I’m trying to speak to everyone I pass on the street – for the rest of my life! I can only smile so far- my cheeks get tired! Doesn’t bother Beamer, though.

  2. Emily Strand August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    YUM! You can come bake again in our kitchen anytime! 🙂

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