I love to bake. It's one of my very favourite things to do, and if I could spend my days running a small bakery filled with rustic sweets and homemade treats, I would be one very happy gal. Since life has choosen a different path for me, and one I'm very happy to be traveling along, I bake recreationally and spend more hours that I care to admit with my nose in a cookbook, learning all of the baking techniques I possibly can.
In recent months, I have stepped away from this beloved hobby of mine as we have tried not to keep too many baked goods on hand and in the home. I've made do by creating healthy and nutritious cookies, muffins etc. which have allowed me to bake, and have been better for my family. It's not true baking though and I've realized that I just can't do it without it anymore...I need to bake! I need to make pies and cakes, cookies and cobblers. I need to experiment and create and immerse myself in batters and doughs. Oh, and don't even get me started on my baking utensils....I miss my whisk and my spatula, and my darling rolling pin. I really miss my rolling pin!
So, imagine my delight when my nine-year-old sat down this weekend to spend some of his TV time watching the cooking channel. He wasn't interested in any old show..nope, he was into the one with the incredible cakes. My sports loving, ball tossing, hockey playing little boy was into baking...and my heart was singing.
While watching the show he put together a grand plan for what we're going to make next weekend and has been inquiring about the art of baking, and cake making, ever since. I decided then, that if my nine year old wants to bake, he will bake. We are going to bake, and bake the way we like to and are meant to. I haven't quite reconcilled how I'm going to do this while still eating and offering mostly healthy foods to my children, but I'm sure we can come up with a solution. Perhaps we can give our goods away...or even freeze half our wares once we've all had a serving. Moderation is key and we need some moderate baking in this home!
All of this has led me to this delicious cake...a French yogurt cake with an orange glaze. So simple to make and the perfect starter recipe for your sous chefs should you decide that now is the time to introduce them to good old-fashioned baking. For this recipe, we usually have one child work on the wet ingredients, one on the dry and then I take care of combining and spooning into the pan. Not too sweet, this is a the perfect playdate treat, a lovely surprise for the lunch-box and even a wonderful birthday cake for the child who isn't into the traditional, round, icing covered celebratory delight.
Expect to see a little more baking around these parts soon...perhaps once a week we'll try to get something really yummy going in the oven. Do you enjoy baking? Do you bake with your children? How and when did you learn to bake?
Have a great day, friends!
Orange-Glazed Yogurt Cake, adapted from Dorie Greenspan, Baking, From my Home to Yours
1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
Juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp icing sugar
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
~ Grease a loaf pan and place the pan on a baking sheet.
~ Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
~Mix together the sugar and the zest. Add the yogurt and eggs and whisk together vigorously until the mixture is well blended.
~ Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together. Fold in the oil using a spatula, to create a thick, shiny batter.
~ Scrape the batter into the pan, place on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
~ Once baked, allow to cool (approx. 15 minutes) and then remove from pan. While the cake is cooling, combine the juice and icing sugar in a saucepan set over medium high heat and allow to reduce slightly.
~ Brush cooled cake will orange juice mixture and allow to set.