Saturday, November 23, 2013

Weekend Ritual: Baking a cake

A couple of weekends ago I read "Bringing Up Bebe", a book about French parenting. It was a fun, quick read and I read it more for enjoyment than actually looking for advice on parenting.

One thing I did really like was the idea that French children are brought up to really practice and experience waiting. And one way they are taught that is through baking! Supposedly, kids from an early age bake every weekend, usually starting with this simple yogurt cake.

I am NOT a "let's-all-cook-meals-together!" person at all (I enjoy that the kitchen is my kingdom/domain that I can control and keep from getting to messy!) so I was intrigued by this idea. I love cake and the idea that we could eat cake every weekend was appealing. :)

So, in an attempt to grow in letting go of control and helping my kids to learn to do things like bake independently and to practice good waiting skills, we went at it.

This is our fourth cake now (4 weekends of cake! I love cake!!) and the kids really really look forward Saturday mornings. They do a little bit more on their own each week (though they don't like to crack eggs, not big fans of slimy stuff) and it's been fun to watch them grow as little bakers. What's really great about this recipe is that they use the yogurt containers to measure the other ingredients!

It's not the best tasting cake (the one we made last week was totally undercooked too!) but for a scratch-cake made with a 5 year-old and 3 year-old, it's pretty good! It mostly tastes like a not-too-sweet pound cake (though the frosting definitely ups the sweetness.)

Gateau au Yaourt 
(from Bringing Up Bebe)

2 (6 oz.) containers of whole milk yogurt (we've used low-fat yogurt and it was fine too)
2 eggs
2 containers of sugar (sometimes we use brown sugar and we usually don't fill up the containers all the way)
1 t. vanilla (or almond extract is yummy too)
Just under 1 container of vegetable or canola oil
4 containers of flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Grease a square or round cake pan.
3) Combine yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil. Mix.
4) In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder.
5) Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until JUST combined (don't over mix), it'll still be lumpy.
6) Add optional ingredients (chocolate chips, frozen berries) with the dry ingredients.
7) Bake 35 minutes or until the cake is done via knife test. Let cool.

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