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Over the summer I read Lunch in Paris, A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. If you know me you know how much I adore Paris and basically all things French. Not to be cliche but if you look up Francophile in the dictionary you would see my picture. And in that picture I would be wearing a beret and holding a baguette saying oui. The first line of the book is Elizabeth confessing she slept with her French husband half-way through their first date. With that kind of honesty I knew I would adore this book and I quickly bought it. I was not disappointed. It also made me cry at one point and that rarely happens!

Throughout the book, in between funny stories about her in-laws and living as an American in Paris there are loads of recipes. Some of which terrify me to even try, some I can’t pronounce but a few that I would like to master.

So, tonight I mastered a yogurt cake. Okay, master isn’t quite the word I would use. More so it schooled me and called me its bitch. But I fought back and we came to a compromise. The cake almost overflowed the pan (well some of it did) then it went flat in the middle. It doesn’t look as bad as it sounds. It was a combination of things that made it a near disaster in the kitchen. The baking soda is a bit old (I was unaware of this until after I googled “Why does a cake fall flat?” and my darling Angie informed me of this). I opened the oven door a few times and we also had to put a pan under the cake pan so if it really overflowed I wouldn’t catch the oven on fire. In the end it all worked out. It tastes delicious. Next time it will be better.

The next recipe I plan on ‘mastering’ from the book is Braised Beef with Red Wine, Garlic, and Thyme! The recipe alone makes my mouth water. I’m planning that for after our Europe trip.

Recipe

1 cup plain yogurt (whole milk!)
1 cup  sugar
Large pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
Fruit of your choice. The recipe calls for apricots but I choose pears mixed in brown sugar. Strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb would work too.

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Oil 10 inch round cake pan and line with parchment/wax paper.
Combine yogurt, sugar salt, and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Add oil as you whisk. Add eggs one by one as you whisk.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda then add to yogurt mixture. Whisk lightly, then stir in lemon zest.
Transfer batter to pan, top with fruit of your choice. Bake on center rack for 45 minutes until golden and slightly risen (or in my case falling out of pan and then flat…) Cool on cooling wrack then transfer to plate (remember to remove the wax paper!). Eat at room temperature. Cover with foil, do not put in a container or plastic bag as it will make it soggy. Per the book its actually better the next day!

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