The inclusion of yoghurt created a light sponge; yoghurt’s impact on a cake fascinates me because it makes the cake light and airy but also adds moisture and the two seem like they should be mutually exclusive. I’m no scientist; I just know it works!
The sponge is flavoursome enough that it could standalone. It would also be perfect made into a loaf cake, cupcakes or individual sponges for a pudding. It’s one of those recipes that can be adapted easily and should be filed away in your armoury of ‘awesome bakes’.
Many years ago, I saw Ina Garten demonstrate a simple tip when you’re icing the cake on its final serving plate/stand. Place four squares of foil on the plate, then the cake on top. The foil will catch any drips of icing and you can them whip them away leaving a clean plate. I use it all the time and always marvel that it’s the simplest tips that are always the most useful!
Served warm for dessert with custard or ice cream, or as a good slab of sponge with a cup of tea, this one is a crowd pleaser. It’s not too sweet but, at the same time, it’s really cocoa-y without having the grown up bitterness that can sometimes go with that. Even a bit of whipped cream and a few berries would make it look a rather smart dessert.
275g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g Greek style yoghurt
225g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
25g cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
175g icing sugar
Now make the icing: place the butter and cocoa powder in a saucepan and melt together over a gentle heat, stirring all the time. It will look a bit icky at this point!
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.