Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Archive for February, 2012

Glazed Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Posted by fourclankitchen on February 18, 2012

Anyone reading this blog for a while already knows that I love simple, delicate tasting, fruity desserts.  This French yogurt cake meets all of these requirements.  It really a pound cake without the pound of butter or eggs.  It is enriched with yogurt and flavored with lemons and olive oil. It is light enough to eat for breakfast or with Sunday afternoon coffee.  Dressed up with a glaze, it is fancy enough to bring to someone’s house.  This recipe, attributed to Dorie Greenspan was originally published in Bon Appetit (Feb 2005).  This version called for a cup of yogurt which was simply too much and made for a soggy cake.  Later, nearly the same recipe was published in New York Times and contained half that amount of yogurt:  this worked much better and is the recipe I used below with one addition.  Surprisingly neither version called for any lemon juice, which I think is a mistake.  Besides,  the last of my Meyer lemons were screaming to be used up and so I did.  Greenspan’s recipes call for a marmalade glaze:  I had some homemade peach jam and this is what I used.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds (I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond flour; you can also use another 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (should be less than 6 mos. old)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon (any lemon will do)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (whole milk yogurt is preferable)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (the original calls for 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or a flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
  • Juice of one very large meyer lemon (adjust this to taste)
  • 1/4 cup peach jam (the original calls for 1/2 cup lemon marmalade, strained, for glazing the top, thinned with 1 tsp water (the glaze is optional)


  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, place the pan on a lined baking sheet and set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
  • Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and, working with your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and aromatic.
  • Add the yogurt, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla to the bowl and whisk vigorously until the mixture is very well blended.
  •  Still whisking, stir in the dry ingredients, then fold in the oil. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  • Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake 45 to 50 min, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan and a tester comes out clean.
  •  Transfer the pan to a rack, cool for 5 minutes. Unmold and cool to room temperature.
  • To make the glaze: Put the marmalade in a small pot or a microwave-safe bowl, stir in the teaspoon of water and heat  until the jam is hot and liquefied. Brush the cake with the glaze. If using peach jam, simple heat in the microwave for a few seconds and brush on.

Posted in baked, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Garlic Whey/Buttermilk (Chhachh) Soup

Posted by fourclankitchen on February 4, 2012

For those who occasionally make cheese (ricotta, paneer) etc.  and wonder what to do with the whey/buttermilk, please do not throw this amazing liquid away. I don’t know what the exact term for this stuff is, but I am talking about the greenish milky liquid  that remains when you strain out your cheese   Indians sometimes use it in curries ( in hindi it is called chhach or chhas). This stuff has potential.  I used it in saag paneer the other day and it was better than adding yoghurt and way better than adding cream.

I had come across a 40 garlic soup recipes here and there and it immediately seemed like a marvelous idea.  When I made ricotta last week,  a simplified version of this soup seemed like it would really take to using up the whey/buttermilk and boy did it! Instead of roasting garlic in the oven for 40 min on a weeknight,  I went with slow cooking for about 10 min on the stove.  Perhaps the roasted version is superior, but this  was a great great soup and so easy.  If you dont have whey/buttermilk,  using chicken (vegetable) stock  with a bit of cream will do the trick. The cultured store bought stuff is not a substitute.  I ate this soup with Chinese chili oil, because that’s how I roll.  But my guys ate it with a basmati-wild rice combo (the kind Costco sells).  It would also be great with garlicky croutons and a dash of parmesan.


40 cloves garlic (peeled;  I bought mine peeled)

1 large onion – 2 cups diced

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 cups whey/buttermilk (Substitute 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup half and half  if you don’t have this stuff)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (1 used 2 cup water and 1heaping  tbs+1tsp of Better than bouillon)

2 tbs. butter

2 tsp dried  thyme.


1. Heat butter, add cumin seeds and allow the seeds to sputter and release their aroma.

2. Add garlic and cook garlic on low until garlic browns nicely (about 7-10 min).  You don’t want your garlic to burn.

3. Now add onions, sauté about 10 min, till the onion softens.

4. Add thyme and sauté for a min or so, till you smell its aroma.

5. Add the whey and chicken stock/water+ bouillon and simmer for 25 min till the onions and garlic are completely soft.

6. Blend using an immersion blender.  This step seems to make the soup more airy, like a colloid and gives soups a better texture than the food processor.  I have no idea how a blender compares,  I don’t have mine out on a counter and never get around to using it.

7. Serve with a garnish of Chinese chili oil.  For a heartier meal,  serve with a basmati-wild rice mix or with garlicky croutons.

Posted in Brunch, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Soups, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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