Blueberry Yogurt Loaf - Where did the summer go?

I'm not sure where I've been the past few months, but suddenly I'm home from travels and I'm wondering where I've left my summer. I can't seem to find it anywhere. I've laid the thing down and forgotten where I've put it. Growing up, whenever we couldn't find anything, like a pair of pants perhaps, we'd do what every kid does and asked our mother.

She would always respond thusly, "Maybe you left them at a friend's house." I always wondered how my mother could possibly think I would walk home from a friend's house with no pants on, but after the millionth time asking her such questions, I understood her response. It wasn't that she didn't care or didn't love me, but she had to ignore the request and respond with a canned answer or go bonkers from being required to forever keep track of her children's belongings.

I'd like to think I did leave summer at a friend's house, because then I could just go over and pick it up, and maybe have a cup of tea with my friend. But I didn't leave it there. I got busy and sort of ignored it and now it's going away ... much too quickly. Luckily, I have my Donna Hay magazines to look forward to and the beautiful thing about her work (other than the obvious - scrumptious recipes and gorgeous photography) is that it all takes place in Australia, and those cheeky bastards down in the southern hemisphere experience the craziest "winters". Their winters are really like our summers. I'm not real up-to-speed on the particulars, but I hear this occurs in places like South America as well. Crazy!

This means when I'm cold and shivering and wishing for one extra puplet to snuggle and warm my backside (they like to lounge behind my legs), I feel warm by proxy when the fall and winter issues of Donna Hay arrive. And after I've read those issues cover to cover, I can always head to her website and find delicious yummies over there as well, which is where I found this delightful Blueberry and Yogurt Loaf.

It is not as dense and buttery as a pound cake, calling for only 5 oz of butter (which is a tad over one stick), but it does call for quite a bit of sugar, so don't think you're getting off too easy when it comes to counting calories. The dollops of greek yogurt keep the cake moist and tangy. It whips up quickly and is a wonderful thing to have lying around on a late-summer afternoon.

Another thing I like about Donna's recipes is that she uses the metric system (being an Aussie and all) and so I end up weighing a lot of the ingredients, which I think is better when baking. I'm going to keep her measurements in her original recipe below, but I'll give you the standard conversions as well.

A quick note here - I'm also keeping her oven temperatures and cooking times as she's listed them, but I've found that my oven cooks too hot, so I almost always knock off 10 degrees as well as 5-10 minutes of cooking time. It's so important to KNOW YOUR COOKING EQUIPMENT. If you're unsure, err on the side of something being under-done, because you can most often correct that. But you can never correct an over-cooked, dry cake. Bleh.

Check it early with a toothpick. You want this cake to stay moist!

Here's Donna's recipe. I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer we have left. Cheers!

Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

(recipe by Donna Hay)

Ingredients:

  • 150g (5 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (140g) Greek-style (thick) yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (225g) self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
  • 125g (1/2 cup - but I actually used one whole cup!) fresh blueberries, plus extra, to serve
  • icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F - I set mine to about 305). Place the butter, sugar, eggs,yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour and whisk until well combined. (Here's a tip I learned from Giada: before adding blueberries, toss them in a little of the flour - this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake while it bakes. Nice!) Fold through the blueberries and spoon into a lightly greased loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Smooth the top with a palette knife and bake for 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer (total baking time for me was right around 50 minutes). Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and top with extra blueberries to serve. Serves 6–8.