Rosemary Yogurt Cake With Lavender Glaze

Rosemary Yogurt Cake with Lavender Glaze

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting in the past week. The International Food Bloggers’ Conference (IFBC) happened in Seattle two weekends ago, and the recaps coming out of it, apart from being absolutely hilarious, yielded a couple of thoughtprovoking pieces about why food bloggers do what they do – for love or money?

After a rollercoaster 15 months wherein I jump in at the deep end by blogging daily for a whole month, explore new flavors, enter a new universe of camera-toting foodies and discover and refine my love of photography, I can honestly say that I’m in it for the “love” of blogging. Even then, this word is an inaccurate representation of my relationship with this blog. I don’t love it the way I love M, yoga or the sweetness of white peaches. Writing a post doesn’t get me all up in a tizzy (it actually winds me up in unpublishable ways!). But it does give me a level of satisfaction and fulfillment that I don’t get anywhere else. It’s my creative space where I am free to do as I wish – experimenting with ingredients, switching between desserts, savories or beverages as they inspire, doing something different from everyone else – all this, is what I love this blog for.

And if you, my readers, like what you see, and come back for more? That’s a wonderful bonus. But I have to be honest – I’m not here for a book deal, or a movie, or to make millions out of ad networks.

I’m here for me. Because this blog would cease to exist otherwise.

It sounds all nice and romantic doesn’t it?  To be honest, I’m a little skeptical myself: this blog takes time and effort to maintain, and here I am saying that I’m not doing it for money?!

My Chinese heritage rebels.

So there is this ad network that I’m a part of that sends me pocket money every month. But I’ve stopped obsessing about this monthly check a long time ago, because monitoring blog stats, mastering SEO and turning into a 24/7 tweeting machine just wasn’t helping on the satisfaction front. I want to enjoy blogging, I don’t want this blog to turn into my boss.

Sorry if you trotted along here expecting a teatime chat and all things lovely and happy, only to get this part-rant, part-self-empowerment speech about my life choices. It’s been an issue that’s pre-occupied me for a while now, and the post-IFBC material I read was just perfect for clarifying my focus for this blog, and where I want to take it.

For your patience, here, finally, is a cake I hope you’ll like – take it as a Bon Vivant twist on a classic French recipe, Gâteau au Yaourt.

Rosemary Yogurt Cake With Lavender Glaze (adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours)
Makes one 9-by-3-inch loaf

The batter is exceedingly versatile for a whole range of flavors and additions. Dorie Greenspan’s original recipe substitutes part of the all-purpose flour with half-cup of almond flour and adds lemon zest, and you could just as well substitute the rosemary for thyme, or orange zest, if it catches your fancy. I’ve found that the soft, french-style yogurt yields the lightest crumb, but Greek yogurt or Skyr work equally fine too. This cake keeps, well-wrapped in foil, for up to a week, guaranteeing a couple of breakfasts and teatime nibbles.

For the Cake:
5 ounces/ 140 grams all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
5 ounces/ 144 grams sugar
A 2-3 inch sprig of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 ounces/ 90 grams plain yogurt
2 large eggs
2¼ ounces/ 63 grams vegetable or grapeseed oil

Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C. Butter a 9-by-3-inch loaf pan and place it on a baking sheet.

Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and chopped rosemary, then add the yogurt and eggs and whisk vigorously until all the ingredients are well blended. Add the dry ingredients, whisking to incorporate, then fold in the oil with a rubber spatula. The batter is ready when it’s smooth, thick and has a satin-like sheen. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until the cake’s edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. The cake should be golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf should be clean.

Run a knife between the cake and the pan’s sides, unmold, and let cool to room temperature before glazing or slicing.

For the Glaze:
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon dried lavender buds
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Place the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to boil, take the pan off the heat and add the dried lavender buds.

Let the mixture steep for 5-8 minutes, then strain the milk, and whisk it into the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until you get a smooth and opaque glaze. Pour or spoon over the cooled loaf.

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  • Thanks for the link to my blog post, Danielle. You would have had fun at IFBC.

    Its good that you have identified that you blog for love. It’s almost impossible to blog for the money anyway, or if you did, the teeny amount involved wouldn’t make it worthwhile anyway!ReplyCancel

  • I enjoy the rants and self-empowerment speeches- keeps things interesting. I agree wholeheartedly. And now, I will try a piece of your fabulous cake.ReplyCancel

  • LOL… funny post :)) And great flavor combinations for the cake!!
    btw.. love the last photo of the rosemary “tree”ReplyCancel

  • Great post Danielle! Same as El, I totally agree. I think that every blogger should ask themselves this question and try to get an honest answer.
    Love the last photos! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • that glaze drizzling over the top.. sinful.

    blogging is so time consuming (for me at least) that you really have to do it for the love. i guess i don’t love it that much! (must work harder to make time 😉ReplyCancel

  • I kept nodding the whole time I read this. I’ve been blogging (back in ’99, it wasn’t a blog, it was an online diary or journal) long enough to really know I’m not in it for the money. I’m a part of Foodbuzz, too, and it pays for hosting, but I’ve never been one to obsess with stats or SEO for my blog and it’s nice. I can sleep at night and go on with my life without checking hits. 🙂

    I love Dorie’s recipes, they are indeed very versatile. I find that not only for her batter, but also for icing recipes. Also? I <3 what you did in the last photo. You know this totally calls to be illustrated and made into a card, right?

    Hope to see you again in SF!ReplyCancel

  • Great recipe and photos! And regarding the blogging musings… for me it’s just a creative outlet really… I don’t make any relevant money out of it either, but I can’t stop!ReplyCancel

  • Hey there! Your “rant” was insightful and well-said :). Sometimes I think we bloggers feel like we are wearing our lives on our sleeves (maybe some of us are!) in their posts, but really, it’s just a lovely insight to your thoughts. Bravo! and delicious looking cake!ReplyCancel

  • Wow, looks like I really striked a chord here, thank you for all your comments!

    Dianne: More than happy to do so – I have to thank you for inspiring this post. It is quite a relief to have clarified the focus for my blogging – makes it far easier to decide whether or not to follow blogging ‘trends’ (which I never do anyway!).

    El: 🙂

    Asha: Glad you liked the ‘tree’, I was inspired by the shape of the stem, sans leaves, and decided to fool around with it.

    Sarka: True that! A dose of self-reflexivity every now and then is good for the soul.

    Rick: Welcome!! It IS time-consuming – particularly for food I feel – and it’s tricky to balance good quality posts with other commitments in one’s life. You’re doing a great job (on the quality front), and I don’t care if you post only once a month, it’s still a joy to read 🙂

    Joy: A good night’s sleep is definitely more valuable than blog stats 😉 I do agree that a little rosemary-tree-card is in order! Catch up soon!

    Miriam: That’s good to hear, when passion’s your engine, there’s no limit, really.

    Tricia: Yes it does feel that way doesn’t it? It felt a little strange when I started blogging, but, as with anything else, I got used to penning my thoughts on this platform and finding my voice. Now it’s like a second skin, of sorts.ReplyCancel

  • No matter what inspires it, I think it’s so important to sit down and think about why we do what we do. I’m with you on blogging for YOU and because you love it. We need to carve out little spaces for ourselves where we can share what we do and what we love, money or no money (although someday money would be nice:) )ReplyCancel

  • Felicia

    You are doing awesome, because you’re driven by passion and led by what makes you feel most alive!

    And that question, what drives food bloggers, love or money, i think the answer is: FOOD! 😀ReplyCancel

  • Great post and reminders that you have to follow your passion.

    I love the clear ringing voice that fills each of your posts. Not to mention the extra bonus of the incredible recipes you share with us

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • I’ve never cared for rosemary at all. I could probably double up the lavender by making the cake lavender too, right?ReplyCancel

  • I found your blog when I was looking for a lavender glaze recipe. Your cake looks so simple, yet delicious! I can’t wait to try out the glaze. And I totally understand how you feel about blogging. Although this post isn’t recent and may not apply anymore, I feel the same way sometimes. You can’t obsess over stats and ads, I think in the end it has to be something you do because you love it 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Danielle

      @Lisa: thank you, glad you like this recipe, and your comment couldn’t have come at a better time to be honest!ReplyCancel

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  • […] 350 Degree Oven for a pound cake. To make it even sweeter, I originally planned to top it with a lavender-infused glaze, but my grocery store’s lack of dried lavender forced me to change my plans and make a more […]ReplyCancel

  • Emma Dolan

    This recipe is great! I’m making this cake as part of my friends 3tier naked wedding cake!!! I was just wondering if you had made it in a larger size and how it turned out? I’m hoping to make a 10″ square! He loved it so much it’s going to be the biggest tier! Any yips would be gratefully appreciated!!:) thanks!xReplyCancel

  • […] A big thanks to A Taste of Home and Beyond the Plate for inspiring this culinary creation. And thanks to Lewis’s Farms for the amazing […]ReplyCancel

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