It’s a marketing gimmick of course. Something some clever French yogurt company executive thought of to sell more yogurt. Not unlike the marshmallow treats recipe on the back of every box of Rice Krispies, except in this you measure out the cake with the container the yogurt came in. Western popular food culture is of course suffused with these kinds of things, though most of us think of box top recipes as trashy American innovations. Yet even the French have a My Baloney Has a First Name side to their eating culture. It’s not all tournedos de boeuf and nouveau vin you know. Even they have to let their culinary hair down every once in a while. This yogurt cake is an example, and while it may not be haute cuisine, it has the twin virtues of being both easy to make and delicious. A great way to occupy the kids in the kitchen while mom tends to her Monday gratin de pommes de terre.
It’s also infinitely adaptable. A few chocolate chips and you’ve got gâteau au yaourt au chocolat, a few, ehem, leftover apricots and it’s gâteau au yaourt aux abricots (spike that one with a little Grand Marnier). You can add whole or ground nuts, substitute brown sugar for white, pour in a little espresso, layer it with jam…ze sky, she iz ze limit. The important thing is to not take it too seriously even though, you know, it’s French.