I had a tub of Vanilla Yogurt that needed using up yesterday and so I decided to bake it into a  cake.   A home must have a cake in it don’t you think???  We were out of cake, so what’s a gal to do but bake one!

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I found a recipe on Epicurious for a French Yogurt Cake and I adapted it to what I had on hand with most delicious results.  The original recipe called for plain yoghurt but I had vanilla and thought it would work well . . .  I have always loved French Vanilla Ice Cream . . .  but as I was baking this I found myself wondering what is it that makes French Vanilla . . .  French Vanilla???   I had to find out.

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This is the answer I found which came from my friend Bill Daley:

 Vanilla bean varieties are often named for where they’re grown, like Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico. That’s not the case with French vanilla. The name refers not to a vanilla variety but the classic French way of making ice cream using an egg custard base.

You can read his full article about it here in the Chicago Tribune where he writes a column entitled The Daley Question.

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So . . .  in order to make this a truly French Vanilla Yogurt Cake I tried to incorporate as much Vanilla into this as I could without it being overkill . . .  so that it smelled gorgeous when it was baking . . .  and it tasted gloriously rich and indulgent.

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The good news is . . . it didn’t need full fat or Greek yogurt like the original recipe . . .  so it’s also a bit lower in fat but still tastes fabulous and has a wonderful texture.  I added to the scent and flavour of vanilla by adding a rich vanilla glaze to the top . . .  and then grinding a bit of real vanilla pod over top with my vanilla grinder.   Result!  This is incredible.

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*French Vanilla Yogurt Cake*

Makes 8 servings

This moist yet sturdy cake is redolent with lovely vanilla flavours.   Scrumptiously moreish!  

210g of plain flour (1 1/2 cups)

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp fine sea salt

191g of caster sugar

165g of good vanilla full fat yogurt (3/4 cup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

120 ml of vegetable oil (1/2 cup)

2 large free range eggs  

To glaze:

130g of icing sugar, sifted (1 cup confectioners)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBS softened butter
milk to thin  

Optional garnish freshly ground vanilla pod 

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Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf tin and dust it with flour, shaking out any excess.  Alternately line with baking paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  Set aside.   Whisk together the sugar, yoghurt, oil, eggs and vanilla to blend.  Fold in the dry ingredients, just to blend.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top over.   Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes prior to removing completely from the pan, again to cool on the wire rack.  (this is where baking paper comes in handy because if you have been smart enough to leave a bit of overhang you can just lift it out.)

Once the cake is completely cooled whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze until smooth, using only enough milk to give you a thick drizzle.  Spoon this over the cake, allowing some to drizzle down the sides.   Dust with a fine grating of vanilla pod if desired.  Cut into slices to serve.

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