Sweet sweet Friday: Gateau Yaourt

Four years ago I was in Paris, hoppity skipping around the Stade de France and Parc des Princes in the name of work. A lucky break meant I got a job working at the Rugby World Cup, reporting on the efforts of the Samoa team (until they got knocked out of the tournament) and bossing around a motley crew of international journalists at matches in Paris. It was the best of times (It was Paris. Need I say more?), it was the worst of times (you try going to a press conference and asking questions in French about a sport you know nothing about, or dealing with pouty French men who won’t do what they’re told by a stroppy Antipodean).

I’d never been remotely interested in le rugby, in fact I’d gone out of my way to avoid it. But in Paris it became a great passport: “Ah, vous etes neo-zelandaise? Allez les All Blacks!” It was all great fun, until France beat New Zealand in the quarter-final. Actually, that’s a lie. It was still fun after that. Tomorrow night, the two teams face each other again. I won’t be sitting in a bar in Paris, but I will be eating slices of this classic French cake. It’s the least I can do…

French Yoghurt Cake – Gateau Yaourt
If you believe everything you read, gateau yaourt is the sort of cake that every French housewife makes (presumably in between flirting with the butcher, telling off the baker, having a torrid affair with the milkman, wearing Chanel No.5 and not getting fat). It’s very simple to make and usually flavoured with rum (or “rrrrhuuum”). This version, adapted from Susan Loomis’ ‘On Rue Tatin’, is a bit fancier thanks to the addition of melted chocolate. The end result is supposed to be a bit more marbled than the one pictured, but things don’t always go to plan. Ask les All Blacks.

200g plain flour
3/4tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
200g sugar
finely grated zest of one orange
125ml (1/2 cup) plain, full-fat yoghurt
120g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
90g dark chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 190C and grease and line a 24cm tin. Beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and beat in, then fold in the yoghurt and melted butter. Pour half the batter into the prepared tin, then add the melted chocolate to the remaining batter. Mix well, then pour this into the cake tin. Swirl the mixtures together with a flat knife to marble. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake passes the skewer test and bounces back slightly when you touch it. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Bon weekend, tout le monde et bonne chance aux joueurs!



  1. September 22, 2011 / 7:08 pm

    Oh oh oh I LOVE making this cake. I haven't made Susan's recipe (I always make Clotilde Dusouliers – no beating required… it's on my blog too!) but I shall try the chocolate marble one next time. Fancy!
    You know, my Mum stayed a few days with Susan Loomis and her family, in THAT house, years ago – she was a member of SERVAS. She's lovely, my Mum said. I re-read the books quite recently, DROOL!!!!
    x Rhi

  2. September 22, 2011 / 7:31 pm

    Oh this looks gooooood!! I'm going out to get some oranges and yoghurt tomorrow and then I am going to make this. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. September 22, 2011 / 8:40 pm

    Go NZ!!! Go NZ!! I would love to be tucking into this glorious cake while watching the rugby…

  4. September 22, 2011 / 10:22 pm

    I love this cake (with or without chocolate). I've baked cakes for French people, though, and they seem to think I'm an eccentric Englishman for baking when there's a perfectly good boulangerie just down the road. So I'm not convinced that French housewives make this cake all that often. I am thinking of starting a second career as a French milkman, though.

  5. September 23, 2011 / 7:18 am

    Mmhmm, this looks gorgeous. A lot of yogurt cakes look quite overly-damp but this one looks just right. Cheers for this!

  6. September 23, 2011 / 8:17 am

    One more proof:French know their cakes.And rugby?Can't care less.It would be ncie if Nw Zealand wins the cup though;))

  7. September 24, 2011 / 6:32 am

    Such a lovely cake. I really love that layered effect… it almost feels more dramatic than if it were marbled!

  8. September 24, 2011 / 10:16 am

    Ah Paris! Yes I have similar memories of the place, though nothing near as exciting as yours lol. Love the look of this cake, a real treat.

  9. September 24, 2011 / 3:54 pm

    What a pretty little cake to find this visit! As for every French housewife making it … hmm!? I thought that's what all those sweet little bakeshops were all about!

    I'll take one, please!

  10. September 24, 2011 / 4:26 pm

    Looks like the perfect cake to enjoy while reminiscing about times past!

    Cakes with yogurt in them are generally pretty delicious and yours certainly looks so!

  11. September 25, 2011 / 10:53 am

    Ooh la la! Look at you and your clever photography with the cake on a map of Paris. Cest Bon non? Nice cake too!

  12. September 25, 2011 / 7:55 pm

    Fab post. The Gateau Yaourt looks like one I have to make. Feeling rather bereft though, for all my 6 months spent in France I never heard of this one – missed out big time. Actually not sure I ever had a home made cake whilst I was there.

  13. September 26, 2011 / 9:21 pm

    woahwoahwoah this looks luscious! sounds like a lot of fun Lucy, Paris, Rugby and pouty french men.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *