Tuesday, March 17, 2009
twd: french yogurt marmalade cake
I love the music of Ralph Vaughn Williams, especially his variations on a theme; "Variations on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," and "Variations on Greensleeves" are among my favorites (though nothing will top "The Lark Ascending"--pure ethereal splendor). There's magic in playing with variations, riffing on a well-established theme and making it your own. This creative process also provides a nice web of interconnection between the original texts and the subtle variations--a way of honoring others who forged ahead of you.
If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, then today's post is dedicated to Nancy, who inspired me with a thyme variation on Dorie's Riveria variation of the French Yogurt Marmalade cake chosen by Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction. What a web of creativity!
This loaf cake eschews butter in favor of oil--in this case, a flavorful olive oil. Add in lemon, yogurt, and herbs, and the cake walks the line between sweet and savory, proving versatile, adaptable, and all around delicious.
I glazed my cake with a simple lemon juice and confectioner's sugar mixture, and delighted in the graceful drips along the sides.
When the glaze was just set, I cut into the first slice--the coveted end piece--and reveled in a crunchy brown crust and moist inner crumb. The thyme and lemon scent was subtle the first night, but the second day the flavors asserted themselves in proper balance. Now, I'm trying to save the rest of the cake for a little work gathering tomorrow morning--one of my colleagues is bringing in treats to celebrate in advance the Persian New Year (which brilliantly coincides with the Vernal Equinox, oh blessed of days).
I will definitely bake this cake again and play around with sweet and savory scents, finding endless variations on a classic cake.