Mark Leslie knows pasta. He is the author of Beyond the Pasta, a memoir with recipes from his experiences in Italy, where he learned the mastery of cooking his noodles with everything from pollotopomodori and beyond. Though he works as a stage manager in professional theater, Mark travels to Italy each year to fulfill his passion for everything Italian, and he keeps fellow pasta fanatics up to date on his blog.
Leslie, who contributed a first-person account of the makings of his book here on Food Republic, takes a break from pasta to share an awesome recipe for yogurt cake that you should try right now. Take it away, Mark:
In Steel Magnolias—the play, then the movie—there is a recipe called “Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa,” in which the character Truvy (played by Dolly Parton) declares that she “serves it with a scoop of ice cream to cut the sweetness.” This is NOT that recipe. Here, the recipe’s Italian name refers to the use of the yogurt container as the measuring cup (“cuppa”) for all of the ingredients. I have included both sets of measurements—the use of a standard American measuring cup and the use of the yogurt container “cuppa.”
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs
- 1 (6-ounce) single serving- sized container mixed berry flavor yogurt or yogurt flavor of your choice
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 yogurt containers (or 1 cup) sugar
- 1 yogurt container (or 3/4 cup) sunflower oil, vegetable oil may be substituted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 yogurt containers (or 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup tart apple, peeled and diced, such as Granny Smith
- 1 cup pear, peeled and diced
- powdered sugar, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a nonstick 10-inch springform pan with the butter and plain bread crumbs. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until well combined. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In batches, add a third of the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing until well combined between each addition. Next, stir in the apple and pear until mixed throughout.
- Pour into the prepared springform pan and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- To serve, remove from the pan, dust with powdered sugar and place on a serving plate.