I first made this – my version of Moro’s yoghurt cake – a couple of years ago, for a Sunday barbecue at home with friends. Now, when I taste the fresh tang of the lemon with the wobbly yoghurt custard set only by some eggs and ground almonds, I think back to that day in the sunshine, with great company, good food and a delicious fresh and tangy pudding.
The original recipe and presentation, by Sam and Sam Clark, those wonderful Moro chefs, is distinctly Lebanese, with pistachios and pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top. While I find this idea glorious, for that sunny day in the backyard, and again today in reminiscence, I preferred a large lemon punch with fresh blueberries in my take on a wonderful Middle Eastern dessert.
3 large free-range eggs, separated
90g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
300g natural yoghurt
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon (or 1.5 small lemons)
3/4 cup (about 75g) ground almonds
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC, and place a dish half-filled with water on the middle shelf to heat up.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until thick and pale. Mix the vanilla seeds into the mixture, then add the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice and the ground almonds. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Gently and evenly, fold the whites into the yoghurt mixture. Pour the mixture into a 25cm cake tin or baking dish with a solid bottom, lined with baking paper.
Place the tin in the water, making sure the water comes halfway up the tin, and cook for about 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
Serve the yoghurt cake warm, or set aside to cool first, before sprinkling with icing sugar and blueberries, or other decoration of your choice.