Great Expectations & Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes That Live Up To Them

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” – Charles Dickens GREAT EXPECTATIONS

I have been doing some reading lately and by reading I mean uppercase READING! In fact, I just read my first full Charles Dickens book. May seem rather high school or college to some but for one who struggled to learn to read, and indeed did not learn until I was on the far side of 10, reading Dickens felt like climbing Everest. I have read quotes by Dickens, I have been a fan of his Masterpiece Classics, the themes I know affect my life, but it’s all those words, there are just so many of them.

Then in the winter of this year a few friends and I started reading and gathering a rather loose book club of sorts – lots of fine food and discussions and some reading thrown in. It’s been so fun to see friends and discuss what we are all reading. We started light and ramped up until this “let’s read a classic, how about Dickens?” Gulp…challenge accepted. And I can’t say how happy I am. Yes, it took me the better part of 6 weeks, but oh the language, the characters, and the themes that reach out from centuries ago and are still relevant today. I rather loved it and feel a bit proud of myself; I know most people read this when they were half my age, but I have to admit I never saw myself reading Dickens just as I admire everyone who climbs Everest I don’t see myself doing that either.

For our first gathering I made these delicious chocolate yogurt snack cakes from David Leibowitz’s THE SWEET LIFE IN PARIS, and they should live up to every great expectation you have for them. They are delicious, moist, not too sweet, easy, and they freeze like a dream. I seriously have always had at least one in my freezer since I first made these over a year ago; I think it might be one of the best parts of them. And the book had me rolling with laughter.

And some future kitchen reading I am super excited to check out is VEGETABLE LITERACY recommended by the wonderful Joe who also introduced me as a child to risotto along with other fine culinary masters, to Chanticleer I still don’t get it, and put up with a rather large amount of Ramona sized melt downs and fits. Thanks and apologies from a more grown up version of that feisty kid.

For all your expectations and the realization that they are more complicated in reality than in the dream. To a whole lot of growing up for Pip, Estella, and myself, and for the love of chocolate and literature, I give thee cakes!



Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes from David Leibowitz’s THE SWEET LIFE IN PARIS

Makes 12 cupcake-sized snack cakes

7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract(I left this out and it still tastes great)

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners or lightly butter the pan.

In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup of the oil. Once melted and smooth, remove from the heat. (Or if you are like me you can do this in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, then in 15 second increments, stirring well between each until smooth.)

In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup oil with yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Stir lightly a couple times, then add the melted chocolate and stir until just smooth.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until they feel barely set in the middle and a tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving.

These cakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for four days or freeze them and take them out 15-20 min before you want to enjoy and delight in home made dessert from the freezer.

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05 2013

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  1. 1

    i would like to eat a dozen of those muffins but you know im too scared to melt chocolate. maybe you should come do a cooking project with asher 🙂 (i even have almond extract)

    • ra #

      I would love to come do a baking project with Asher 😉 I could do Saturday afternoon or next week after school one day. We could make them in your mini muffin tins too. Also, we have to make the salted brown butter rice krispie treats I made last week, so yum!

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