Monday, March 28, 2016

rye and poppy seed yogurt cake with cherries

Yossy Arefi over at Apt. 2B Baking is one of my favorite baking bloggers.  She (like me!) loves incorporating seasonal produce into her baked goods (she has a particular fondness for rhubarb which makes me happy).  I'm constantly looking to her blog for inspiration; her pictures are gorgeous, she cooks all of this beautiful food in a New York City sized kitchen, and she loves playing around with unusual grains/flours/flavor profiles.   I sometimes feel as if we should be friends.   

While perusing her blog last week, I stumbled across the trailer for her new cookbook which seems to be filled with all kinds of brilliant recipes - rye rhubarb upside down cake, blood orange doughnuts, the list goes on.  But the dish that had me racing to the kitchen was for a cherry poppy seed yogurt cake.    I don't know why this caught my eye, but something about the combination of cherries and poppy seeds just felt exciting - even without the recipe I knew I had to make a version of it.   

This is my riff on that cake and while it may not be her version, I think she would appreciate it.  It's a little bit tart, a little bit sweet and just about perfect.  The combination of cherries and rye flour is brilliant but they kicker is the poppy seeds, they really add a little something extra.   I've been snacking on it when I need a little afternoon pick-me-up but I don't think it would be out of place as part of big Sunday brunch spread.   

Rye and Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake with Cherries
Inspired by a clip from the trailer for the Apt. 2B Cookbook.  Yogurt cake adapted from Ina Garten

For the Cake

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (55 grams) rye flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup (230 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek)
1 cup less 2 tablespoons (175 grams) sugar
3 extra-large eggs (can use large eggs with no ill-effect)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (about 255 grams) fresh or frozen pitted cherries

For the Strussel

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon rye flour
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
Generous pinch of salt
3 tablespoons to - 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar (depending on your preferred level of sweetness)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Take the cherries and scatter them over the top of the cake, pressing some (about half) of the cherries down into the cake (if you don't do that all the cherries will be in a layer at the top).

In a bowl (I recommend the same one you use for your dry ingredients) combine the strussel ingredients - butter, flours, poppy seeds, salt, and sugar.   Cut the butter in to the other ingredients with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the strussel on top of the cake and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

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