Monday, May 31, 2010

ABC - Spicy Yogurt Pound Cake

This post comes to you from beautiful Morocco where I'm vacationing. It's beautiful and sunny here, with temperatures in the upper 80s. Food is super fresh here; from seasonal vegetables and fruits (I've especially enjoyed the ripe strawberries), to meat (chicken is slaughtered and plucked upon buying – doesn't get any fresher than that). Did I mention the breathtaking scenery?

Seville Orange trees are used as street decoration pretty much everywhere in Morocco

Koutoubiya Mosque in Marrakech in southern Morocco

That's the Mediterranean Sea in northern Morocco. We brought chairs with us and enjoyed the sound of the waves.
A little park with water fountains right outside the condo I'm staying in

Back to business... baking business, that is. This month's recipe for ABC of the Month, Spicy Yogurt Pound Cake, is chosen by yours truly.

When I read the ingredients list, I was intrigued immediately: yogurt, butter, brown sugar, warm spices like cinnamon, allspice and cloves, orange zest, cocoa powder, and finely ground nuts (I used almonds instead of walnuts). Baking in a different kitchen (and country) always comes with hurdles. I couldn't find allspice so I omitted it, and I used all granulated sugar. Without a regular oven, I made due with a large Tefal toaster oven which did its job really well. One big advantage though: easy access to 82% European-style unsalted butter and the freshest farm eggs you could ever find.

My mom and I baked up a storm on Sunday. We served the pound cake (and the other goodies) at a familygathering and everybody loved it. My personal opinion: the cake was delicious and moist. The wonderful flavor of almonds came through really well, and so did the orange zest. The spices gave the cake a really nice aroma and lingered in the background without overpowering the cake.

Don't forget to check out the ABC blog roll: Wafae and Chaya. And, if you'd like to give this recipe a try, you can find the recipe for it HERE.

My mom's holding the plate :o)

Bon appetit!


  1. Glad the pound cake was a hit Hanaa! It looks marvelous :) Hope you have a wonderful time on your vacation - the pictures are great and make me wish I was there too!!

  2. I wondered where you were! And now I'm so jealous! Your pound cake looks and sounds delicious. I hope you have a wonderful vacation and fun visit IA!

  3. your cake looks yummy!! I always wonder about fruit trees are along the street if anyone pick the fruits..When i was in Rome i saw lots of cherry trees along the street and i almost wanted to pick it cos cherries are so expensive back!..

  4. ב''ה

    Mmm. Morocco. I can just imagine some little old ladies in the market place eyeing the live chickens and asking "got anything fresher?..."

  5. That cake sounds great. I can't wait to hear (and see) more about your trip.

  6. Morocco? How adventurous! Beautiful pictures. Your cake looks so delicious.

  7. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday.

    Very brave of you to bake in a "strange" kitchen!!

    Cake looks wonderful.

  8. Beautiful cake. I am impressed that you pulled this off when you away.

    Photos are fantastic.

  9. Glad to have you back, Hanaa. I've never baked a cake in a toaster oven--kudos to you! Love your vacation shots...

  10. I MISS YOU HANAA!!! Is it totally weird that I miss you even more knowing you're half way around the world instead of half way across the country? haha! Anyways, I'm SO happy to hear you're enjoying yourself on vacation- you deserve it my dear! I can't wait to see more pictures and get ALL the details. When you return home, let's plan on some major catching up, okay?

    So far I want to try all of the ABC recipes... jeez I should just join you guys, but I know it's super exclusive. I am anxiously awaiting our super secret project coming this Sept. and I'm already trying to narrow down recipes. But back to the pound cake. How proud am I of you that you figured out a way to bake in a foreign country far far away from the safety of your kitchen. You've got guts girl! But, as usual, your results came out just perfect and look absolutely delectable!

    I don't want to keep you from having lots of adventures and fun in the sun... after all, you've gotta collect lots of great stories to tell me upon your return :) Hope all is well, and I can't wait to hear from you soon!

    <3 always,

    P.S.- I'm TOTALLY jealous of that European butter... I gotta get my hands on some of that!

  11. Wow, Hanaa! You are one diehard bakin' lady! Nothing, and I mean nothing, can stop you. You're amazing, baking this cake, and posting about it while on vacation thousands of miles away. I look forward to hearing more about your journey in future posts, yes?
    Have a fabulous time,
    Jane :)

  12. Lovely cake! I was just in Marrakech in December and had a fabulous time!

  13. Oh, you are with your Mom and baked up a storm together! I feel so happy for you and what a moist looking cake, wow! Miss bugging you and have oodles more fun in the sun!

  14. Hanaa, sounds like you are having the best baking and enjoying yourself - The things you are posting are great - keep 'em comin' -- joan

  15. this looks really nice and yummy :)

  16. That pound cake does look very moist and with just the right amount of spices; I am also eyeing that marble cake down below; decisions, decisions...!

  17. The pound cake looks wonderfully delicious. Your process photos are very nice, and your vacation photos are so great...wish I was there!

  18. How did I miss this post!!!!! Lucky you! Morroco's on my list of places I really want to go to! I'm gonna have to ask you tips when (prob a long time from now!) I get to go:)

  19. mmm looks wonderful! And exciting to be eating it somewhere adventurous. Can't wait to make this..and the lemon loaf. Great posts.


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