Monday, January 13, 2014

Pineapple Yogurt Loaf Cake

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I can't shake it. Like I had this idea to make a quick bread using Greek yogurt and self-rising flour.

Except I didn't have any self rising flour.

But that's easy. I always have baking soda and baking powder.

This all started when the nice folks at Yoplait sent me some of their blended Greek yogurt and a recipe for frozen blueberry breakfast bars.

The bars sounded good. Besides breakfast, I thought they'd be great for an afternoon snack or even dessert. But once the weather gets cold, I'm really not that interested in eating frozen foods. So I set the recipe aside.

And time passed. And I became obsessed with this idea of a quick bread with just a few ingredients. I mean, I've seen quick bread and biscuit recipes that are nothing more than yogurt and self-rising flour.

But I wanted a bit more than that. A few ingredients rather than two.

The first loaf was a complete train wreck. And when I say complete, I mean complete. It was gummy and nasty and inedible.

And then I was on a mission. I wanted to make a yogurt cake, and I wanted it to be good. I added more ingredients. I got closer. Then I removed some. Added some others. It was getting better, but still not blog-worthy. More yogurt, less yogurt. Milk. No milk. No eggs, one egg, two eggs, three ...

Finally, I got a loaf cake I liked. It's close to pound cake, but a little lighter. With bits of pineapple from the yogurt. A little sweet, but not too much. Moist, but not gooey. It rose nicely, but didn't dome at all, so maybe next time I'll add just a teeny bit more baking powder - I'll be trying 2 teaspoons. If you live closer to sea level than I do, for sure I suggest that for sure you add more leavening.

So, here's what I ended up with:

Pineapple Yogurt Loaf Cake

1 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 eggs
2 5.3-ounce containers Yoplait Greek Pineapple Yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9x5 baking pan with baking spray - I used a ceramic pan, but metal should be fine.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer.

Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the yogurt and beat until well blended.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until blended, then add the flour to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake at 325 degrees until the cake bounces back when lightly touched on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean - about 65 minutes.

Let the cake cool for a minute or two in the pan, the remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a rack.

Soooo.... are you curious about the blueberry bars? Here's the recipe I was given. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds pretty good. Maybe I'll make it ... when the weather warms up.

Frozen Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Recipe courtesy of Yoplait. Used with permission.
Get your yogurt and granola in a frozen bar that you can "grab and go" for breakfast or for a snack any time of day.

Prep Time: 15 Min
Start to Finish: 3 Hr 25 Min

2 1/2 cups Cascadian Farm organic oats & honey granola
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 containers (5.3 oz each) Yoplait Greek blueberry* yogurt
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons Cascadian Farm organic oats & honey granola, coarsely crushed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups granola and the melted butter. Firmly press in bottom of ungreased 8-inch square pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on cooling rack. Freeze about 5 minutes or until cold.

Spoon yogurt over crust; gently spread to cover. Sprinkle with blueberries and crushed granola. Freeze about 3 hours or until firm.

Remove from freezer 10 minutes before cutting. To make bars, cut into 5 rows by 2 rows. Wrap each bar tightly in plastic wrap. Store in freezer.

These bars can be stored tightly wrapped in the freezer up to 2 weeks.

*You can use any flavor of the Yoplait Greek yogurt for this recipe.