Monday, November 26, 2007

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Seeing as it was my sister's birthday, I decided to bake her a cake using my newly learnt skill. She doesn't really like chocolate so I decided to do something lighter instead. I decided on a lemon yoghurt cake that I had seen at Stickyfinger's blog.

The cake was very easy to make. Mine didn't look as good as Stickyfingers due to not having a nice star shaped tin. I tried to decorate it a little by using some lemon rind in the syrup and shaped the rind into a flower.

So what's the verdict on the cake. We all liked the flavour of the lemon. That part was great. The texture though was a bit too rough for my liking. It wasn't as smooth as I thought it would be due to the yoghurt. I think it may be the semolina that made it a bit rougher in texture.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

250g butter
200g castor sugar
4 teaspoons lemon zest (I double this)
4 eggs
50g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
250g fine semolina
200g ground almonds
6 tablespoons lemon juice
120g plain yoghurt


1 cup lemon juice
175g castor sugar
½ tablespoon brandy (I use a tablespoon of Limoncello)

I add a tablespoon of glucose syrup – it makes a thicker syrup, but it’s not mandatory

Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until the mixture is pale and smooth. Then beat in the eggs, one by one, ensuring each one
is completely incorporated before adding the next. Sift flour and baking baking powder over the top, and gently fold in with the semolina and ground almonds. Then mix in the lemon juice and yoghurt. Pour the mixture into a well- greased springform tin (I use a silicone cake mould, and the cake pops out easily), and bake in a preheated 170 °C oven for 50-60 minutes, or when the cake is firm to the touch and golden brown.

Combine the lemon juice, sugar and brandy/Limoncello, glucose in a small pan and bring them to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for
5 minutes to make a syrup.

Remove the cake from the oven and pierce it all over with a skewer. Pour the syrup over the hot cake and allow it to soak in. I remove the cake from the silicon mould when it has cooled and then add a little more syrup to the top. The cake will keep in an airtight container for several days.


  1. Thanh, I have decided that you are a hard man to please!!! Maybe a bit of meditation is what you need, perhaps moving to St Kilda would mellow you out... all they do here is chill... take a deep breathe and enjoy life!!! That cake looks delicious!!! Vida x

  2. Vida, what can I say. The cake looks very nice and tastes quite good. But still, I'm sure there is better lemon yoghurt cake that is more smooth in texture.

    As for living in St Kilda, if you know of anyone offering free board, I'm there. The sea air will do me great.

  3. Thanh, this is a Middle Eastern cake and will never approximate a sponge, after all adding yoghurt to a sponge mix would have dire consequences. Common sense dictates that the lighter or smoother the cake, the more refined the ingredients need to be, hence I use a semolina which is ground as fine as flour, which I get from South Melbourne market.

    Likewise with the ground almonds, I never buy the supermarket stuff, I buy from either Middle Eastern shops because they have a high turnover and it's fresher, or again, I buy it loose at South Melb market. I also have been known to make my own.

    I think the more freshly laid the eggs are makes a difference to this cake too, unlike if you're baking a sponge, older is often better as the albumin has eroded and doesn't weigh down the mix. Conversely, Almond meal needs the proteins to bind it when making cakes.

    Baking is such a science - that's why I don't go there often. I usually leave it to talented Patissier friends like Chris Montebello of 'Let Them Eat Cake', who leave me for dead in that area. He once said that when Mr & I marry, he wants to make me a dress made of icing! OOOH La-La!

  4. Stickyfingers, I can't agree with you more that baking is a science.

    Everything you have said makes perfect sense. The better the ingredients, the better the cake. However, I can't go to those markets far away so have to find a recipe where supermarket quality is good enough. I guess I must like the common sponge cakes more.

    As for a dress of icing, I'm sure someone has done that already. I must check out this Let Them Eat Cake blog to get some good recipes.

  5. Vida says that you are a hard man to please, but I think that you just have certain things you like in particular.

    I think though you have to compare apples with apples. You can't compare a sponge to a semolina/almond meal cake as they are totally different genres. Just as I said to Jon, that it is innapropriate to compare the food of Movida with Bar Lourinha as they serve the cuisines of two different countries.

    Let Them Eat Cake is not a blog but a wonderful Patisserie run by my friend and Paris trained Patissier in Cecil Street, South Melbourne. His website doesn't do him justice and the photos sadly are more representative of what is popular rather than his more inspired work, but the proof is in the eating of his delicacies.

  6. Stickyfingers, I'm not that hard to please. I like eating a sausage as much as the next person. I just thought that the chefs wouldn't like that and want to prepare something they like.

    As for this lemon yoghurt cake, I really do like the flavour, but the texture doesn't appeal to me. If everyone liked the same things, it would be very boring indeed and there be no variations on anything.

    Aren't Movida and Bar Lourinha both serving Spanish food? Please let me the know the difference. I seriously want to know. Because I compared them too when I did my review on Bar Lourinha. I liked the food at Movida much more.

    Well, if its a cake shop here, that's even better. Now I can make it a note to visit them the next time I'm up that way. Can I get a discount if I mention your name hahaha.

  7. Movida is Spanish, Bar Lourinha is Portuguese. We may like to tar the two cuisines with the same brush, but the people of those two countries would probably welcome the comparison as much as the Chinese would to being compared with the Japanese....NOT!

  8. I see. I never knew Bar Lourinha was Portugese. If I knew that, I definitely wouldn't go comparing them in terms of Spanish food, but just as restaurants in general.

    And I see you must have watched Borat. That movie is really funny.

    "I like you".

    "In my country, they would kill for wives like you, you....not so much".

    "So you a retard", "No, I'm retired", "So they let retards out in this country".

  9. I love Borat and we even managed to get seats at the premiere screening of the film. Last year for Movember Mr Stickyfingers did a 'Borat hairdo and moustache' to raise money, but thankfully did not wear the mankini. I swear I split my sides watching that film, especially the nude wrestling scene.

  10. Hahaha, he should have gone the whole mankini, that would have been hilarious.

    The nude wrestling scene where they go into the convention was so funny. I wonder if that was staged or real? Some scenes I find even more funny because I think they might be real. There were reports of people suing him because he tricked them into doing some things apparently.