Saturday, 14 June 2014

Raspberry laban cake

Raspberry laban cake

That breakfast is one the most important meals of the day is well-known: after the night rest our body needs to fuel for engaging in morning activities and performing well, and so it is recommended that everybody, and especially children, takes a balanced mix of nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals).
This is, in a nutshell, the theory. In practice, at least in my case, what I prefer to eat in the morning is something sweet, and my child (two years old) has a sweet tooth too. For this reason I like to have in hand every day some home-made cake or tarte or cookies to eat for breakfast with  milk, tea and coffee (the baby has of course only the milk). And, as I have already said when published these soft cookies, I always try to make something as healthy and light as possible (a little or no butter, not too much sugar, etc.) but at the same time tasty. This time I wanted to make a cake with fruit, raspberries in particular, because I had bought some packs for another dessert (coming soon because it is really worth trying!!!!); and I also wanted to try one local product I had never tried before: laban which is an Arab yogurt drink (but similar drinks are used also in other Middle Eastern countries), usually drunk to replenish all the water and salts the body need in the hot weather of these countries. It is thicker than milk but more liquid than yogurt and with a sour taste; I wanted to use it instead of any of them or maybe buttermilk, not easy to find here. I had noticed on the Gourmet magazine website a cake with raspberries and buttermilk and took inspiration from that recipe to make mine (I used much less sugar, self-raising flour instead of the regular one plus leaveners, less butter, no eggs, more fruit and, of course, laban). And the cake came out very good, soft, moist and light; it is really easy and fast to make, also kids can help and enjoy, and it is perfect both for breakfast, an afternoon tea and - why not?- as a light dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a lukewarm crème anglaise.
Just one comment: I don't like very sweet cakes so I am always careful with sugar, but in this case, if using raspberries, which are a bit sour, it is possible to use more sugar than me for having a sweeter result, and to add vanilla extract or swap lemon zests for it. Also raspberries can be replaced with other berries or fruits of your preference.

Raspberry laban cake

Raspberry laban cake
inspired by Gourmet
makes a 20 cm Æ cake
125 g self raising flour 1
40 g unsalted butter, softened
80 g sugar + 2 tbsp for topping
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 pinch sea salt
180 ml laban2
200 g fresh raspberries 3
1 or 125 g all-purpose flour + 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp  baking soda + 1 pinch salt
2 Laban can be substituted for buttermilk or a mix of 50% milk and 50% yogurt (the result will be slightly different)
3 raspberries can be replaced with other berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries) or fruits of your preference

Preheat the oven to 180°C with rack in middle. Butter and line with parchment paper (or butter and flour) a 20 cm round cake pan.
Beat butter and 80 g sugar with a whisk (or an electric mixer) until pale and smooth, then add lemon zest and stir. Using a whisk or a spatula, mix in flour in 3 batches, alternating with laban, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Raspberry laban cake out from the oven

Put on a wire rack and let cool, then remove from the pan and serve. 
Raspberry laban cake slice

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