When Napoleon was in excile on the island of St. Helena, I'm sure he made this cake. It's a traditional French yogurt cake island-style - baked with banana mango yogurt, ground mixed nuts, fresh mango and strawberries, and topped with a sweet layer of caramel coconut.

I've been wanting to make a French yogurt cake for the better part of a year after seeing some of Clotilde's on Chocolate and Zucchini. So I was excited when Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction chose this week's recipe. It was easy to make, fail-proof as Dorie said in the recipe. It's like a pound cake, which surprised me because it's reportedly a favorite birthday cake for little Frenchies. You mean kids the world over don't go for the sugar + lard iced sheet cake with potato chips and coke?! Wait until they find out what they're missing. Napoleon incarnate just might rise up; an eight-year old would be about the right size.
Instead of butter, this cake has oil. Combined with the ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and cashews) and yogurt, this cake turned out incredibly moist, which translates to magically disappearing in my kitchen. After putting about a fourth of the batter in the pan, I layered fresh strawberry and mango slices, and then covered with the remaining batter. The coconut topping was inspired by one my Granny sometimes adds to banana bread.
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

  • Mix over medium heat until melted.
  • Let simmer 2-5 minutes until the coconut takes on a caramel color.
  • Spread over cooled cake.
Three discoveries from this week:
  1. Lemon zest rubbed into sugar produces a most enticing aroma! Why has no candle company fancied this one yet? There is every other imaginable scent, from obscure to downright choking-hand-me-the-coffee-beans-NOW gross.
  2. A new fave yogurt!
  3. There could be worse things than being in exile on an island.


Megan said...

Oooh, mango. I just bought a container of peeled mango from Costco. And every time I walk past the kitchen I grab a slice.

Love the tropical theme, it fits in perfectly with the cake!

Teanna said...

OHHHHHHHHHH LOVE the topping! That takes this to the next level for sure!

Leslie said...

Brilliant, just brilliant! Love the coconut and mango!

Beth said...

Wow what a great job!!! I love how you got so creative with this delicious cake.

Anonymous said...

Your tropical flavorings sound wonderful. YUM!

TeaLady said...

Funny!! Napoleon compared to an 8-year-old. But right! The combo of mangos and strawberries. Pefection in a loaf!!!

Kayte said...

It is such fun to see what different bakers do with each, I am so NOT creative that I just make the same thing Dorie says to make, in the same pan, in the exact same way as the recipe, imagination whatsoever. That is why it is fun to come to places like this and see the glorious things you all do...and yours looks and sounds truly glorious. Those ingredients are all my favorites...if I am ever exiled...I want to be sure you are on the same island! Great job!

Annette said...

Looks delicious! I love your variation with the mango, strawberries and mango. YUM!

Engineer Baker said...

Love the use of four different kinds of nuts! And the tropical take sounds wonderful. Gorgeous!