Baking comes entirely naturally to some people; it's as if they were born holding a wooden spoon. For others, it is a non-sensical and needlessly complicated undertaking; mention creaming together butter and sugar and they begin to hyper-ventilate. Depending on which side of the divide you fall, you might find it difficult to understand the other perspective. Hopefully, however, this recipe challenges the conception that baking is some sort of dark art to which you must sacrifice your arteries at the altar of high cholesterol in order to excel. You take a pot of yoghurt and use the pot to measure out the remaining ingredients. The batter takes under ten minutes to prepare and demands nothing more difficult than being able to count to three. After baking for an hour in a moderate oven, you are left with a deliciously moist cake that isn't cloyingly sweet.

The recipe was given to me by one of my friends, who in turn had received it from her mother-in-law. Beyond that, the provenance is unclear. When I asked my grandmother about it, she'd heard of it, and there are a million variations of it floating about the intergoogles. Beyond that, though, its origins remain obscure.

Variations abound with this cake. First of all, you can vary the flavour of the cake by using a flavoured yoghurt. How about lemon? Perhaps you'd like to substitute one of pots of flour for a pot of ground almonds? In fact, try lemon yoghurt in combination with the ground almonds. I'm determined to try it smeared with apricot jam, doused with amaretto, drenched in stewed apricots, and smothered with custard as part of a trifle. Let your imagination lead you with this one. And report back what you find.



Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.

Mix together all the ingredients and pour into a lined 450g (1lb) loaf tin.

Bake for one hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool. Enjoy!

Music to cook to: Tapestry, Carole King

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