Baking · Reading

Gâteau au Yaourt

Paris train stopped on platform

While I am by no means a Francophile, (my time in Paris is limited to an arrival at Gare de l’Est, a quick Metro ride, and a departure from Gare du Nord) my recent book purchases tell a slightly different story. Just days ago at Rochester’s new used bookstore, Garden Party Books, I picked up Monet’s Garden: Though the Seasons at Giverny in hardcover with gorgeous photo illustrations and a paperback copy of The Paris Seamstress. The Paris Library is downloaded on my iPad ready for next month’s Knit Camp book club; and, last year at this time, The Directors – my library loving, book reading, wine-drinking group of retired friends – read The Bookseller, the first of the Hugo Marston mysteries, where the foul deed occurs on the banks of the Seine. For a 2018 January potluck, The Directors planned an entire luncheon menu with recipes from Monet’s Table: The Cooking Journals from Claude Monet.

With one very inattentive year high school French, my language skills are limited, my wardrobe is far from haute couture and I have never taken a French cooking class but I enjoy the writing and the cooking inspiration offered by Clotilde Dusoulier. Her Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen has been a trusted source for culinary inspiration and yesterday she came through again as I made her easy, not too sweet gâteau au yaourt. The tartness of the yogurt paired with a tablespoon of light rum blend tastefully into a moist yellow cake which I garnished with freshly made blueberry sauce. Yumm!

Bibliography: Books mentioned in this post or on my shelves:

Photo credit: Adrien Olichon from Prexels


Chilly Day Chocolate Cake

portion of a square chocolate cake and spatula with frosting

While not the most photogenic dessert (cake decorating has never been a skill in my baking tool box), I can tick off a list of positives accomplishments:

  • Meets Richard’s dessert request
  • An easy mix using Joy of Cooking Quick Cocoa Cake and Chocolate Butter Icing recipes
  • Very moist and deliciously tasty with Divine Cocoa in the cake and Ghirardelli bitter sweet chocolate in the frosting
  • Just the right size (as Goldilocks would say) and, as directed, baked in two-8 inch square pans; perfect for eating one and freezing another.

In the bleak midwinter … solstice sweets

Each year we celebrate the Solstice, acknowledging the shortest day, celebrating a holy darkness, and enjoying a special meal.  In a year where nothing was as it was supposed to be, it felt even more important last night to gather fresh evergreens, bake a sweet treat and claim tradition.  

Needing a recipe that did not require an extra trip to the store since we had already picked up our drive-through, online order, I landed on Easy French Almond Cake from the café sucre farine.  Just as promised in the intro, “Incredibly delicious cake and it’s incredibly easy!”  I did modify it slightly (a baker’s prerogative) as I replaced the orange glaze and sliced almonds garnish with Cafe Delites’s homemade blueberry sauce.  Bon appétit!

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
     Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894