Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Birthday on Bastille Day!

My friend J. is spending the summer here in town, and since she celebrated her birthday last week, I just had to bake her a cake. I should mention that, as indicated in the title, her birthday falls on the French Bastille Day, which is of special significance to the two of us given our Francophilia. So, I figured that I should try to incorporate at least some French element into the cake. Well, that element came in the form of the cake base, Clotilde's recipe for French Yogurt Cake. This recipe never fails me, and it comes out moist, fluffy and scrumptious every time. That however, was the extent of the French element. I turned the basic cake into a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, as J. loves both chocolate and peanut butter. Though ever-popular here in the U.S., the French just don't seem to adore this combination nearly as much as we do. Oh well, nothing beats this classic combo in my eyes. And of course, no one complained while eating the cake :)

Cake(adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini):
3 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole-milk yogurt
3 eggs
1.5 cups sugar
1/3 + one-half of 1/3 cup ghee or canola oil
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 ounces of good-quality dark chocolate, grated

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Gently combine yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil/ghee and vanilla in a large bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda in another bowl. Mix the grated dark chocolate into the dry ingredients Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture and mix together until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan, and bake it until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let it cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
About 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream butter and cream cheese together until fulffy. Beat in the peanut butter and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and beat it in completely. If more sweetness is desired, add the remaining 1/4 cup. Spread on top of cooled cake.

Decorate as desired. I used chocolate chips to spell out "Happy Birthday Mon Ami." I wrote "Mon Ami" just to add a bit more of the French element, as I could not fit "Anniversaire", the French word for "birthday."


Priya said...

Wow cake looks absolutely prefect..belated birthday wishes to ur friend..

Swathi said...

Beautiful cake, belated birthday wishes your friend.

Nicole said...

What a wonderful birthday day! They had fireworks here in Paris for her :) Wish the cake could've traveled so I could have a piece!

J. said...

This was one of the best gifts for my birthday. Thanks Ameya! I def ate all the leftovers too.

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