I found out that Chobani is running their #madewithchobani summer series, and are asking everyone to create a summer recipe using their Greek yogurt. Their yogurt is good and the idea sounded fun, so I thought I would participate. You can, too, if you like.
I knew my creation would be a dessert, a light, easy and refreshing one, and several ideas started spinning in my head. I finally settled on this one, which is a variation of a recipe I had originally created for my restaurant-that-was, because it fit the pictures in my mind and because I had not made it or eaten it in a long time.
Not quite ready to let go of summer, I considered topping the cake with peaches or a mix of berries. But when I saw a big pile of wonderful Mission figs at the farmers’ market I could not resist them, and instantly modified the recipe in my head to suit the figs. I thought that Italian Amaretti cookies would make a perfect and slightly unusual base, and a maple syrup glaze would round out the flavors.
YOGURT CAKE WITH MAPLE FIGS
yields 8 portions
for the base:
- 200 gr. (7 oz.) Amaretti cookies
- 100 gr. (3.5 oz. – almost 1 stick) butter
for the cake:
- 500 gr. (17.6 oz. – just over a pound) non-fat plain Greek yogurt at room temperature
- 300 ml. (10.2 fl. oz.) whipping cream
- 150 gr. (5.3 oz.) sugar
- 12 gr. gelatin sheets, or 2 & 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
for the topping:
- fresh figs
- 120 ml. (1/2 cup) good quality maple syrup
- fresh mint sprigs for decoration if desired
You will also need: a 9-inch round cake pan, best if springform, buttered and lined with parchment paper.
Let’s make the crust.
- Gently melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove. Finely grind the Amaretti using a food processor. Add the melted butter, and pulse a few times until combined.
Place the crumb mixture into the prepared cake pan and press to evenly cover the whole bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator to set while you preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. When the oven is ready, bake for about 12 minutes, or until the crust is dry and set. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Preparing the filling.
- Place the yogurt in a large bowl and give it a stir using a whisk. Add the sugar, minus 3 Tablespoons, and blend.
- Using an electric mixer, whip the cream with the remaining 3 Tablespoons of sugar till firm peaks form.
- If using the gelatin sheets: cut the gelatin sheets into half-inch strips into a bowl, add about 1 cup iced water, and let sit until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Pick up the softened gelatin strips with your fingers and squeeze out the excess water, then place it in a small metal bowl or a ceramic mug. Place the mug in a saucepan with about 1 inch of simmering hot water just until the gelatin has melted. Slowly add the warm melted gelatin to the yogurt constantly mixing with a whisk until well blended. If using the powdered gelatin: sprinkle the gelatin powder on 3 Tablespoons of cold water until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the softened gelatin to the yogurt and blend well with a whisk.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the sweet yogurt mixture until smooth. Pour into the cake pan on top of the cookie base and distribute evenly. Refrigerate, covered, until set, about 3-4 hours, or overnight. The parchment paper will not make it easy to cover the cake, so I placed a plate on top.
- Simmer the maple syrup in a saucepan for about 5 minutes, or until a little thickened. Let cool to room temperature.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator. If you used a springform pan, first remove the ring. Otherwise, using the parchment, gently lift the cake out of the pan and place on a work surface. Peel away the parchment from the sides. Using either a cake lifter, or two large flat metal spatulas sliding underneath the cookie base, gently lift the cake onto a serving plate.
- Decorate the top of the cake with halved and quartered figs. Using a spoon drizzle some maple syrup on the figs and on the cake. Decorate with fresh mint sprigs. Serve and enjoy.
This is a really easy cake to make, and you can top it with any fruits you like. Maybe, if you are using fresh berries, you might want to use Graham Crackers, or other simpler cookies for your crust, and use a berry glaze to match. If you make this cake, I would love to know how you enjoyed it, so come back and let me know in the comments.
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