Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Lemon yoghurt cake

Being a vegetarian for me is not difficult.  Especially when my family is mostly vegetarian and my dad makes the most delicious vegetarian dishes ever. There are many more plant based food out there, so many more delicious choices that you can choose from to feel deprived of the few meat selection that we don't eat. A trip to the morning market will leave you filled with such joy from seeing the colourful produce. 

Eating out is of course a different matter. Majority of the restaurants have menus that are dominated by the meat selection.  Although there has been an increase in awareness of special diets consumers and most restaurants do have a few dishes to accommodate vegetarians but it is still that isn't it? To accommodate rather than to celebrate. But anyway, I am not that picky. Even though I would love to see the veg scene in Auckland expand, I am glad that at least most restaurants do offer vegetarian options. And if they don't, most places are more than happy to omit the protein part of the dish if you ask nicely. I mean, it saves them money. 

Over the past week I have been tied down by tests and assignments. One assignment in particular was especially difficult for me to do. It is about meat. Just my luck. We had to discuss the reactions of myoglobin, which is the main protein in meat responsible for meat colour, which also translates as meat quality in most consumers' eyes. After 4 weeks of procrastination, and a final week of forcing myself to research and write, I managed to squeeze out about 4000 words. (So glad that the lecturer said to NOT write 6000 words but rather to ere on the halfway mark as he's got a pile of thesis to go through alongside our assignments.) By about an hour before the deadline, I've truly had enough. I have tried my best in writing about something I am passionately against. I felt saddened by some facts that I read. Like wow, global meat consumption increased by a whopping 600% since 1950. How many kgs of meat are people eating per year? How many animals are being killed each day just so humans could enjoy the taste of it for a curt few seconds/minutes? Why must human build our enjoyment on others' suffering? 

Anyway, after I handed in the assignment, I headed straight home. As I passed my front lawn, I noticed the daisies have sprung up, white and yellow in the sea of green. That sight cleared my mind. I just love how strongly survival driven plants are. Just a few days of heavy rain and the soil have moistened enough for these plants to shoot out. Odd as it is for daisies to bloom in August, signaling the premature arrival of spring, I felt comforted by the thought that the season of growth is upon us. 

I am also glad that the winter fruits are still in full bloom! Our lemon tree in our backyard's been having a field day (month). So much yellow!!! So much happiness!! So much earthy satisfaction and pure joy just looking at them!! I love lemons. They're like laughter growing on a tree. That vibrant colour just blows away any dark clouds in your mind. So. In celebration of winter's gifts and early spring, I made a comforting lemony lemon cake :) 

[Lemon Yoghurt Cake]
280g flour (I used 200g unbleached AP flour + 40g wholemeal flour + 40g almond meal. The almond meal makes it much moister)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
140g raw sugar, blended
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 2 lemons 
250ml natural yoghurt
120ml olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line an 8 inch cake tin. 
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 
3. Beat together eggs, sugar and honey until thick and pale. 
4. Add the vanilla, zest and juice of lemon. Beat until well incorporated. 
5. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. 
6. Stir together olive oil and yoghurt until well mixed. Add to the cake mixture. Stir until just combined.
7. Pour into the lined cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean, cake is well coloured and firm but slightly bouncy to the touch. 
8. Remove from oven and cool in tin for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and cooling on a wire rack. 
9. Serve as is or with a dollop of yoghurt. 

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