Here I am mismashing all the different flavors and baking influences of my life together again. This is really where “fusion” cooking comes from. Once you have lived somewhere the flavors become a part of your life as much as pieces of the culture become a part of your person.
In this case, pound cake (American) met Yogurt Cake (French) and they asked Lemongrass and Ginger (Southeast Asian) to join the party!
This is not an overly sweet cake, and the flavors are subtle. It makes a wonderful afternoon snack, pairs well with ice cream or, do what I do and, eat it for breakfast (of course!).
You can bake it in a deep cake pan or use a loaf pan. Just make sure you line the pan with parchment paper as it takes a while for the center to bake, and you want to protect the edges from burning.
The secret to the cake is in the whisking. Baking powder will give the cake its rise but the air you mix in when you whisk the ingredients is what gives it texture and a wonderful crumb.
Start with eggs and sugar. Get them to a light-yellow color and a thick texture.
Add the yogurt and mix it again.
And then add oil. Mix it again until it is homogenous (which means all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and cannot be told apart.)
Finally add the flour. Don’t over mix it or you will deflate the batter.
Stir in the candied ginger and bake the cake.
For a finishing touch (optional) make a syrup of lemon grass and sugar and give the cake a glaze. Using 4 tablespoons of syrup and letting it sink in helps to moisten the cake. It will keep at room temperature for three to four days.
LEMONGRASS AND GINGER YOGURT CAKE
For the Cake
- 1 ¾ c flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 c sugar
- 2 tbs lemongrass paste
- Zest of 1 lime
- ½ c yogurt
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- ½ c canola oil
- ½ c candied ginger chopped.
For the Syrup
- 2 tbsp lemongrass paste
- 1 c water
- ½ c sugar
Make the Cake.
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8 ½” x 4 ½ “loaf pan with oil and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper lightly with oil.
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of stand mixer, whisk together the sugar, eggs, lemongrass, and lime zest until quite light in color and thickened (2-3 minutes).
- Add the yogurt and coconut extract and whisk to combine.
- And the oil and whisk for one or two minutes until everything is well mixed.
- Stir in the flour mixture until just mixed. Fold in the chopped ginger.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
Make the Syrup.
- While the cake is baking make the lemongrass syrup.
- Place the lemongrass paste, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and strain the syrup, discarding the lemongrass.
Finishing the Cake
- When the cake baked removed it from the oven and poke holes all over the top with a toothpick. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the syrup over the top of the cake. Wait five minutes for the syrup to sink and repeat. Do this 4 times.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
Note: I often find it difficult to find stalks of lemongrass in the supermarket but tudes of crushed lemongrass are generally found in the produce section