If you have read my blog for a while now, you are pretty familiar with the fact that I adore the Barefoot Contessa. Some people love Kobe or Tom Brady, some love Meryl Streep, some love JT, Adele, Ryan Gosling, or Bono. But me, I love Ina.
One thing, well, there are many things, but one thing in particular that you will never see on my blog are the words “recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa”.
I love taking a basic recipe idea and tweaking it to add my own unique touches – that is half the fun of cooking. And I will ALWAYS give credit where credit is due but I will never adapt Ina. It can’t be done. I can’t add anything that she hasn’t already perfected. At least according to my taste buds and that is why I love her. Well that and the fact that I feel like I could pull up a chair in her barn (LOVE the barn) and talk with her for hours over coffee and oh, I don’t know, Lemon Yogurt Cake.
And that is just what I am going to share with you today. What a coincidence. Lemon Yogurt Cake, one of my absolute, all-time, favorite “tessa”, as my five-year-old calls her, recipes. We watch her show quite a bit if you couldn’t guess.
Originally, I had planned on sharing the crustless Quiche recipe I’ve been working on but it still needs some work before I put it out there; the finished product is too “liquidy”. Oh, if only I could pick up the phone and give Ina a ring …
“Ina, hi, it’s Dani. I’m great. Yes, the kids are fine. Thanks for asking. How’s Jeffrey? So glad to hear it. Listen, what are your thoughts on mini-crustless Quiche that turns out just too soft and liquidy?”
And yes, she would know just what I mean by “liquidy”.
You have your dreams. I have mine.
The Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Yogurt Cake
So why is this one of my favorite Barefoot recipes?
Lemons. I love lemon anything.
No mixer, just a whisk and a bowl – that I love!
It is light, made with yogurt and vegetable oil but it still has an incredibly rich flavor.
And the lemon simple syrup … WOW!
In prepping for this post, I happened to discovered yet another thing I love about this recipe;
it is forgiving.
What do I mean exactly? Well, you know when you are outside weeding and suddenly you think “OH CRAP! MY CAKE” and run for the back door, bursting into the kitchen to find your assistant lying on the couch, remote in hand as he glances up and casually says “mommy dat stove been beepin”.
Forgiving like that.
Just keepin’ it real. And I can say crap – my kids don’t read my blog yet.
Lucky for him, he’s just too cute to fire.
Lemony. Quick. Easy. Moist. Light. Delicious. AND Forgiving. That is why I love this cake.
Note: the only thing I do a little differently than Ina (I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that) is simply that I don’t often add the glaze to the top as we are not big “frosting” people. We like the cake as is, moist with a bright lemon tang that is just right and not overwhelming. Although the glaze is a nice touch and I do add it when I’m making the cake as a gift.
In retrospect, this probably would’ve been a good time to add the glaze. Then you might have never known about the over-baking. Mistake covered up. But that’s just not my style. I’d rather have a little fun with it.
Besides, Ina is so good that even when life happens and you overbake one of her recipes, all is not lost and you can still …
I promise, I’ll bake a prettier one with glaze and update the post; just for you guys and for Ina. Her wonderful cake deserves a little bit better representation. But for now, let’s just bask in the freedom of admitting we aren’t perfect. And that’s okay! Besides, this is nothing. Oh the epic kitchen fails I could share with you – maybe someday.
Of course, you are MOST welcome to comment and share any of your memorable kitchen failures. I would LOVE to hear about them. We can be blissfully less than perfect together.