Gâteau: try an apple yogurt cake recipe from Martinique

Adapted from Cagnet family recipe

15 minutes, plus cooking  |  Serves 8-12

In March, I went on the Martinique exchange, and I stayed with a wonderfully kind family. Régine, the mother in my host family, made this cake multiple times, and I liked it so much that I had to ask for the recipe. This Gâteau Yaourt aux Pommes, or Yogurt Apple Cake, is light, moist and flavorful.

The original recipe calls for a mixture of manioc flour and regular flour, to make the cake lighter while still retaining its moisture. Manioc flour is made from dried ground manioc, the root of the Cassava plant. This root, which looks a bit like a big yam, contains cyanide and can be poisonous if not properly made into flour. However, as manioc flour is not generally available in the USA, the cake can be made with wheat flour and it turns out quite well.

 

The recipe calls for apples, but other fruit can be substituted in, too. Régine made this cake with pineapple chunks, which were also quite good. I recommend fruits that are firm but not hard, and not too moist; apples, pears, apricots, plums, peaches, pineapple all work well. Bananas and berries would not.

 

⅔ cup plain or vanilla yogurt

3 eggs

1 ½ cups sugar

⅜ cups vegetable or canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 or 2 apples, 8oz chopped pineapple, or other fruit (see note)

 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Mix together the yogurt and eggs, then add the sugar. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add this to the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. Chop the fruit into pieces about the size and thickness of Froot Loops Cereal. Coat apples, pears and other fruits of similar texture lightly in flour. Leave moister fruits, such as pineapples and peaches, uncoated. Add them to the batter and mix until incorporated. Pour batter into a buttered and lightly floured pan, and cook for 30-45 minutes, until the top is pale golden. When a toothpick is inserted it should come out clean. Allow to cool slightly before eating, so as not to get burned. The cake also tastes great at room temperature.