When I was studying abroad in London, I volunteered for a great organization called Keeping in Touch (KIT). It’s a non-profit that sends people into care homes to chat with the elderly and provide them with social stimulus. The organization also teaches the elderly how to use computers and access the Internet. The founder, Jeremy, started the organization after seeing that the elderly in his mother’s care home rarely had any interaction with each other or the outside world. I remember after my first day volunteering, Jeremy said something that never occurred to me: “The people out there don’t really care about the people in here.”
I quickly found that Jeremy’s claim had some truth; there seemed to be stigma towards the elderly. When I initially told others about KIT, they were quick to judge. “I just can’t imagine how you do it.” “I would never want to work with old people.” If anything, though, I can say that I had a lot of fun visiting the care homes. I looked forward to talking with residents’ about their past and listening to their favorite songs over afternoon tea. Because of their influence, I now know the lyrics of “Maybe It’s because I’m a Londoner” by heart, have been taught how to get rid of a Cockney accent, and learned the history of the record player.
I’m no longer in London, so my visits with KIT have ended, but afternoon tea still holds a special place in my heart. This French Yogurt Cake is one of my favorite accompaniments to a hot cup of Twinings tea – with milk and two sugars. The sharp lemon adds depth, and the Greek yogurt makes the cake dense yet moist. Also, I think the cake tastes even better after it’s been chilled in the refrigerator. Maybe make a loaf and pop over to your grandparents’ place for an afternoon visit.
French Yogurt Cake
Found at Bon Appétit
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 1/2 cups (185g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (225g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Alternatively, you can line the pan with parchment.
2. Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
3. Using your fingers, rub sugar with lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar is moist. Add yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; whisk to blend. Fold in dry ingredients just to blend.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes.
5. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.