Saturday, November 30, 2013

Busy Busy Kitty!

Two steps forward, one step back.

Or that's what life seems like at the moment for the Kitty folk.

Just as one gets better, the next comes down with some mutant strain of bleeeeaaauuugghhh... At the moment Mr K is laid up with it but I was unwell mid-week and Little G was sick the previous week. It seems to get worse everytime it moves from person to person. Lord knows how we will cope with the move to 2 days daycare next year.

We purchased a block of land 5 weeks ago (very exciting and something that has been on the cards for a couple of years for us) and, despite our best efforts to have plans sorted out before settlement, we are waaaaay behind schedule. Majorly. I guess I have to look forward to this being my life for the next few years, right? Unsurprisingly, life gets in the way of the best of intentions, nothing ever goes to plan when you build, right? Right...?

At this point, we are all looking forward to a relaxing week over Christmas with my parents and my brother and sister and their families. We just have to get there. Hopefully in one piece.

Kitty xx

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Miss Kitty Bakes: Gateau au Yaourt a la framboise

When all else fails, bake.

This seems to be my motto at the moment, along with the Kitty Family mantra: Never Knowingly Under-catered. The two go hand in hand.

When my brain is about to explode, filled with so much going on, it is sometimes the only form of release I have.The mindless therapy of stirring and beating and mixing and pouring, then waiting for the house to fill with the glorious sweet scent of home baked cakes and treats. It's so soothing for me and helps keep the chaos of my mind slightly more ordered.

Today was such one day - I felt compelled to bake. Beyond all reason. G has come down with a cold very suddenly - one minute fine, the next, a streaming mess of clingy toddler snot. Mr K is completely bogged down with work so once G went to sleep for her nap (albeit a very small one), I just had to make something.

This Gateau au Yaourt, or Yoghurt Cake, as it is known in English, is simplicity at it's best. You can use whatever sugar you like - either white or golden castor or brown sugar, and you can flavour it with whatever you like: sliced peaches work beautifully when they are in season, lemon zest and blueberries work all year round, poached quinces or pears are lovely for a winter treat. But this variation with raspberries and almond meal is my favourite. The almond meal makes it a little more rustic and dense - you can replace it with a little more flour if you choose.

The recipe is a traditional French treat, often made by children with their mothers. The simplicity comes from the fact you can use a single yoghurt pot as a measuring cup for the majority of the ingredients. I simply use a half cup measure - French yoghurt pots are 125ml each, or half a cup. I got the recipe originally from Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini.

Despite her cold, Georgie ate an entire piece of this magical creation. So it must be good. It lasts well but it never lasts long around here.

Gâteau au Yaourt à la Framboise

2 tubs (or 1 cup) of plain yogurt, I used Jalna organic fat free because that's what I have but any yoghurt works in this cake
Use one of the empty tubs to measure out :
2 tubs of brown sugar (or 1 cup)
1/2 tub of oil (1/4 cup - I use vegetable oil but you could use coconut or light olive if you like)
3 tubs of sifted plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tub ground almonds (1/4 cup)
You will also need :
3 eggs
1 Tbsp baking powder
a good pinch of salt
300 g raspberries (fresh or frozen -- no need to thaw them if they're frozen)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Copiously grease and line a 9-inch (22 cm) round cake pan with baking paper.

In a medium bowl measure out then combine the flour, the baking powder, the salt, and the almonds. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, the oil and the sugar with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three or four additions, and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Alternatively, use your food processor to mix the batter, adding the ingredients in the same order as indicated above.

Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Cover evenly with half of the raspberries. Pour the other half of the batter, and arrange the other half of the raspberries on top.

Put into the oven to bake, for 50 to 60, until the top is springy and a cake tester comes out clean. If it looks like the top of the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil for the rest of the baking time.

Let rest on the counter for ten minutes -- I repeat : let rest on the counter for then minutes -- then run a knife around the cake to loosen it, and turn out on a rack to cool completely.