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French Yogurt Cake recipe using standard container American single-serve yogurt?

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In "Bringing Up Bebe" the author says French toddlers learn to make yogurt cake because it's easy to measure the ingredients using a standard yogurt container, but the recipe she provided in the book didn't use a standard American yogurt container.

Anyone have a French yogurt recipe to share that calls for a standard American single-serving of yogurt?

It's hailing and we need a project!

Thank you!

~TDQ

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  1. I don't know about the whole yogurt container thing, but I've made this before with great results.

    http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fren...

    5 Replies
    1. re: boogiebaby

      Good to know, thank you! I have loads of recipes for FYC. Really am seeking one that uses the yogurt containers for this entertain-a-preschooler project.

      ~TDQ

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        In that case:

        http://www.cakestudent.com/yogurt-cak...

        1. re: boogiebaby

          You're a star, thank you!

          ~TDQ

          1. re: boogiebaby

            So, reporting back on the yogurt cake. First, even though I read the recipe in the book (which, by the way, I find to be mostly anecdotal and somewhat irritating from a parenting perspective), I'm really glad you linked the recipe from the blogger, boogiebaby, as the blogger talked about how forgiving the recipe was and how she just let her kiddo just have at it. That encouraged me to do the same.

            She said she didn't help him with anything except for holding the bowl. Maybe he's a little older than mine, but I helped my kiddo quite a bit more--helping him break the eggs (once he got them cracked), helping him mix ingredients (you'll be surprised how heavy 4 cups of flour and 2 cups of sugar is to a small child), and DEFINITELY helping him pour the oil. I don't care how independent his mood, I'm not letting my preschooler have complete freedom with a bottle of vegetable oil.

            The cake was nice and moist, although my husband did tell me later that he got a powdery bite of baking powder.

            Finally, is anyone noticing how hard it is to find single-serving cups of plain, whole milk yogurt these days? Not low- or non-fat, not fruit-sweetened, not Greek? My grocery store has an aisle of yogurt measuring 8-10 feet long and there were exactly two single-serve containers of whole milk (not-Greek) yogurt on the shelf, the very top shelf naturally with one container pushed way to the back that I could only see while standing on my tiptoes. I eventually had to ask for assistance reaching it. I have saved the yogurt containers for future use as it really is fun to use the containers and I'd rather use bulk yogurt--more economical and I almost always have it on hand. I think this is a great project to have in my back pocket for rainy/snowy/hail-y days.

            We used chocolate chips (not even minis as recommended, though those probably would have been better) and those were fine. Next time we'll try blueberries as recommended.

            ~TDQ

        2. re: boogiebaby

          I think we'll work up to this recipe now that we've tried the basic, thank you. :) I can't help but notice how different the proportions are from the recipe I used. Apparently it's a pretty flexible.

          ~TDQ

        3. The French yogurt container is normally 125 grams, with a volume of around 140ml. I think single-serving American yogurts are 6oz, so a little bit bigger. I think you could actually just use a French recipe without adapting it (same number of eggs, etc.). This isn't exactly precision pâtisserie…

          But here are a couple of recipes adapted for Americans:
          http://www.montessoriworksblog.com/20...
          http://www.cakestudent.com/yogurt-cak...

          1. we heard about the hail last night on the news.
            my husband wondered if the balls are so large, how do they not damage a roof or everything else in sight.
            be careful and take care of yourself TDQ

            1 Reply
            1. re: iL Divo

              Not to worry--the hail we got was what I was jokingly calling "micro hail"--as if it was raining cupcake sprinkles. We should have scooped it up and made snow cones or something, although, I'm kind of at the stage where I need to discourage my tot from eating snow.

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              I have experienced some large hail that did do significant damage to my (brand new) vehicle, though.

              ~TDQ

            2. Hi, TDQ -- you can use *any* size container, as the proportions work no matter what size yogurt container you have.

              One container of yogurt
              One container of oil
              Two containers of sugar
              Three containers of flour
              (see that 1-2-3 thing?) :)
              One egg (I would use 2 if you have an 8-ounce yogurt)
              a pinch of salt
              (optional: 1tsp vanilla or a packet of vanilla sugar)

              That's it...nothing more -- I find that US blogger and writers try to make it far, far too ocomplicated. I've made it with 4-ounce to 8-ounce cups, and it makes a very nice, simple cake no matter what. Great for shortcake and similar.

              And you don't have to use plain yogurt -- I've made it with strawberry and peach, too.

              And yes, this really is the first recipe many French kids learn because it's so easy -- but they make it for the rest of their lives because it's also really good.

              17 Replies
              1. re: sunshine842

                ^^^^this.

                baking is ratios.

                this is a go-to cake for me and i am not a child, lol. it just comes together so quickly and is infinitely adaptable. lemon yogurt is nice here too and i usually add a splash of appropriate extract or even some zest.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Yes, I could have experimented, but with a lively preschooler at my side, I kind of just wanted a recipe I knew would work. I didn't really want to have his first cake come out burned or something because I couldn't figure out on the fly which cake pan would hold approximately 17% or 25% more ingredients. In addition to the eggs which don't always scale easily, there's also baking powder, size of cake pan and baking time to consider, all of which I am seldom in the mood to tinker with. I prefer working with actual, tested recipes. Ones that work.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Nope, no baking powder.

                    a 4-ounce yogurt will make a one-layer cake; an 8-ounce will make two layers. A lot of people I know in France also bake it in a loaf pan, which will hold either.

                    1 egg for a 4-ounce yogurt; 2 eggs for an 8-ounce yogurt. (a 6-ounce yogurt? take your pick)

                    That's all.

                    Every US recipe I see tries to make this simple little recipe into some complicated dance...when it reality it's pretty closely related to a dump cake in the US -- no measuring to speak of, no faffing around, just dump a bunch of stuff in a bowl and make a simple little cake.

                    Hotoynoodle, I agree with you -- part of the reason this is so popular is because it's easy and delicious.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Yes, baking powder according to the recipe in Bringing Up Bebe (but then again, maybe that was as much unreliable crap as most everything else in the book...) And how do you scale 7 oz yogurt, which many of them are these days? My point is, I'd rather just follow a recipe that I know works than have to fiddle-fart around. I have little patience for experimentation in the kitchen. Some of you like to cook and bake. I do not. I like to eat.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        No baking powder in the traditional recipe -- and Bringing Up Bebe was written by an American expat who had a maid and a nanny on their very short expat assignment, during which they lived in an heavily-American, very upscale neighborhood. While I've never met her, I know a number of people who know her, and the general consensus is that she wouldn't know real life in France (including how they raise their kids) if it bit her on the nose.

                        I'm not claiming to be the be-all expert by any stretch...but I'm not selling a book that says I am, either.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Funnily enough, I just edited my post (probably after you replied) to say maybe her cake recipe was just as crappy and unreliable as the rest of her book. I also found that she doesn't know how Americans raise their kids these day either. :)

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            LOLOL

                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                          we're cross-editing pretty heavily here, so I'll just add a new post for clarity.

                          For a 7-ounce yogurt, I'd use 2 eggs.

                          1 container yogurt
                          1 container oil
                          2 containers sugar
                          3 containers flour

                          the proportions of everything except eggs are exactly the same no matter what size container you use -- as long as you use 1 egg per 4-6 ounces of yogurt, there's no experimentation -- that's one of the things that makes this such a treasure of a recipe: No thinking!

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            You know, I don't know why I'm being so cranky this morning (well, I do know why--it just has nothing to do with you or Chowhound or even baking!). You are being super extraordinarily helpful (as usual). Thank you for doing that conversion work. I really am almost a non-baker. I would not be exaggerating if I said my husband is a more accomplished baker than I am. He learned from his mom who is a great cook and baker. My mom, bless her heart, was (well, is) neither.

                            I'm going to make note of all of these conversions. I'm sure I'll eventually get the hang of it and be able to convert on my own, but I wanted the first cake to work.

                            Thank you so much!

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              i love recipes like that cake because they require almost no memory on my end. :) as mentioned it's 1-2-3. don't overthink it.

                              this smittenkitchen blondie recipe is foolproof in exactly that way as it requires 1 unit of each ingredient.

                              http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/1...

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                Terrific! Maybe we'll graduate to the blondies once we have the yogurt cake down!

                                ~TDQ

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                I'm thinking about giving baking lessons, TDQ - want to be my guinea pig? ;-)

                                1. re: sandylc

                                  As long as there's eating involved! :) Maybe I should just have you skip a generation and teach my preschooler directly.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    That would be fun! I could never get mine to become interested, until he went to college! Wow, bad food, what should he do?

                                    Hethen discovered he'd been listening and observing all along, so he jumped right into making his own food, and now he's an amazing cook and baker....

                              3. re: sunshine842

                                This sounds like a great project to do with my 7 year old granddaughter who I am teaching to cook/bake. What temperature and how long to bake?

                                1. re: fleck

                                  As an aside, have you seen the ChopChop cookbook? It just won an IACP award. Looks perfect for a child your granddaughter's age.

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903234

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: fleck

                                    350-375 until it's done.