|Vintage cake plate from Yay Retro|
It’s no secret that I love Greek yoghurt. After all I grew up eating it – although, to paraphrase Friends, in Greece, they just call it yoghurt.
That is kind of an important distinction however. Although Greek yoghurt doesn’t enjoy Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status there’s a notable difference between Greek and Greek-style yoghurts. The taste is usually a giveaway, but you should take a closer look at the ingredients list… Greek yoghurt should be made of pure ingredients with no thickeners – the creamy consistency is a result of the straining process.
And this thick, creamy consistency is what makes it a perfect ingredient for baking. This cake was inspired by my favourite sweet snack as a child – yoghurt with walnuts and honey, which got me thinking about Baklava which has nuts in a honey/sugar syrup. To celebrate all things Greek I added a bit of light olive oil (do NOT use extra virgin as taste is too strong), orange flower water and semolina.
It is a lovely cake, moist and not too sweet. The sweetness comes from the syrup which is brushed on the cake layers and the frosting which is rather rich!
For the cake
300g self raising flour | 2 1/3 cups
50g semolina | 1/3 cup
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, separated
250g caster sugar | 1 1/4 cup
90g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
30ml light olive oil | 2 tbsp
240g Total Classic yoghurt | 1 cup
A few drops orange flower water
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
Zest of an orange
100g walnuts, coarsely ground | scant 1 cup
100g pistachios, coarsely ground | scant 1 cup
For the syrup
250ml water | 1 cup
200g sugar | 1 cup
5 tbsp honey
1 vanilla pod
For the frosting
300g full fat cream cheese (1 large tub) | 1 1/4 cups
2-5 tbsp Total Classic yoghurt
500g icing sugar (more if needed) | 2 1/2 cups or more**
** I made this frosting on hottest day of the year so I had to adjust the
amount of icing sugar until the frosting formed firm peaks
100g sugar | 1/2 cup
1 tsp water
Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F. Spray your cake tins with cake release spray. I used 4x15cm/6inch cake tins, but you can use larger (standard) ones – you will get 2 or 3 layers depending on their size.
Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until you have a soft peaks. Set aside.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and semolina together in a bowl. Put the butter, oil, eggs yolks and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk together on high speed for several minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, zest and orange flower water.