Vanilla Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt cake is a traditional French bake which uses usually a plain natural yoghurt, but really anything in the fridge can do! and it is so easy to prepare: no scales nor standing mixer! As you will see later, it can also be baked in whatever tin you own! The only must: a yoghurt!



  • 2 vanilla yoghurt pots
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • sugar
  • flour
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1½ tsp baking powder (1 sachet)


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease&flour your chosen tin: the first time I used a kouglehof tin (like a bundt but deeper, from Alsace) and sprinkled some chocolate chips at the bottom. The 2nd time, I went for a basic 8″/20cm round tin


  • Pour both yoghurt pots in a large bowl. Wash one of the pots as it will be used as a measuring cup! that easy!


  • Add egg yolks and mix



such beautiful deep colour when it comes from my own chickens!

  • Add 1 pot of sugar and mix (and up to ½ pot more if plain yoghurt used): I chose vanilla sugar
  • Add 3 pots of flour: plain if that’s all you have, but I mixed it myself with 2 plain + 1 cornflour first time and 2 plain + 1 rice flour second time. Mix well and add ground vanilla


  • Mix in the melted butter (you could use ½ pot of oil if easier or preferred, but I never use oil in my cakes as I can taste it….)
  • Add the baking powder
  • Whip up your egg whites


  • Gently fold in


  • You should get a very smooth batter


  • Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40mn, until firm to the touch

On my second go, upon request from a neighbour, I used pearl sugar



was worried about using brown rice flour but still got a beautiful rise!


Kaki (Persimmon) & Cinnamon Crumble Cake

Kaki fruits are in full season and can be of an acquired taste. They are delicious on their own, eaten as an apple, or transformed into a very tasty cake as you will soon discover!




Kaki filling:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 45g dark brown sugar
  • 4 Kakis peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh if you can (unlike me!)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 60ml water


For the batter:

  • 110g soft butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 525g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 375ml buttermilk (if unavailable, make your own adding 3 tsp white wine vinegar to skimmed or semi milk)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract

For the crumbs topping:

  • 55g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 75g light brown or vanilla sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground vanilla


  1. Fruit filling:
  • Melt the butter in a medium size pan and add the brown sugar
  • Add the chopped fruits and lemon juice and cook, stirring for 2 to 3mn
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water
  • Add to the pan and cook a further 2mn until thick
  • Leave to cool down completely


2. Cake batter:

  • Start by making up the buttermilk if you haven’t got any
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a 23cm/ 9″ round or square cake tin
  • In the mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy
  • Add one egg at a time, beating well each time


  • In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon


  • Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk and cinnamon extract to the egg mixture and beat until well incorporated

3. Crumble:

  • In a mixing bowl (use the flour one and save on washing!) combine the butter, flour, sugar and ground vanilla using your fingers until you get fine crumbs


4. Assembly:

  • Spread half of the batter in the prepared cake tin
  • cover with the fruit filling
  • Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter, as much apart as you can


  • Sprinkle the crumble over evenly


  • Bake in the oven for 50to 55mn, until golden brown and skewer comes out clean


  • Leave to cool slightly and serve warm with custard or ice cream…. although cold the next day was just as nice! If it lasts that long…. 😉



Rhubarb and Vanilla Mincemeat

I won’t actually post a recipe today as I followed Nigella’s “Feast” recipe…. the only differences being adding ground vanilla and in my choice of dried fruits: as you know by now, I don’t like sultanas so I used cranberries, apricots and a “mixed” bought in the organic section which included figs and goji berries! I have tried to find a direct link to add to this post but I couldn’t find any although the recipe is out there, some even giving her the credit due…


I was very pleased with myself as it is my very first attempt at any kind of mincemeat: it was delicious and promises some very nice mince pies indeed! I was worried about the rhubarb being a bit tart but not at all! Worth trying if you like making your own jams and preserves!


And very nice, they were too! 1 jar (big one) made 24 generously filled mini mince pies:

004 (3)

Biscuit Topping:

  • Beat together: 200g soft butter + 45g sugar + 2 yolks + 200g flour

And if it isn’t that time of the year, use Nutella instead as a filling: they won’t last a day!

Ma Vanille!

C’est une de mes épices préférées et je l’utilise beaucoup dans mes gâteaux…  Je l’ai sous deux formes:

  • Vanille Moulue:

ground vanilla   obtenue en moulant des gousses de vanille, elle peut être utilisée à la place ou avec (moi: toujours avec!) de l’extrait de vanille. Parfaite pour toutes vos créations culinaires, elle s’adapte mieux mélangées dans de la crème ou du beurre… Attention, elle ne peut pas être dissoute dans du liquide car elle n’est pas soluble!

Voici la mienne: 018

  • Extrait de Vanille: à mon avis le meilleur, sans aucun doute, pour une saveur beaucoup plus complète et plus riche. Je fais en fait mon propre extrait de vanille après avoir découvert la possibilité dans un de mes livres ( américain celui-là).

023   J’ai placé la bouteille dans la lumière pour la photo mais je la garde toujours à l’abri: mettre 2 ou 3 gousses de bonne qualité dans une bouteille opaque et la remplir d’un alcool blanc (clair comme la vodka ou le gin, j’utilise de l’alcool de fruit). C’est maintenant que l’attente commence: à l’ombre pour 4 à 6 semaines et à secouer de temps en temps…. Après ce délai, il vous suffit juste de remplir la bouteille après chaque utilisation…


All about Vanilla

By now, you might have noticed a recurrent spice in my baking: Vanilla, I just love it! I use it in 2 forms:

  •  Pure Ground Vanilla: not to be confused with Vanilla powder (which has added sugar, etc) it is made by grinding pure vanilla pods.

ground vanilla                                                                                                                                       It can be used in combination or as a substitute to vanilla extract. Great for all your baking, it is best when used or folded into cream or butter. Can also be used to flavour your ice cream! Beware, it will not dissolve as it isn’t water soluble.

This is mine: 018


  • Vanilla Extract: for a much fuller and richer flavour rather than plain essence… I actually make my own, after reading the how to in one my baking books, that one from the USA…

023   I had to position the bottle in direct sunlight so you could see the pods inside but the bottle has to be quite opaque for better results: drop 2 or 3 really good vanilla pods in you bottle and fill it up with a clear alcohol. In the UK, I used vodka but after a recent accident I had to start from scratch and in France I bought a fruit alcohol. I added a tablespoon of ground vanilla (not in my “recipe”). You must leave it in the dark for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks ( I know, such a long time!!!) but shake it from time to time…. After that, I top it up whenever I use it and always store away from sunlight….