Monday, April 21, 2008

Dorie Greenspan Coffee Cake

Yes, I am a fan of Dorie Greenspan. I've been working my way through her baking book and I like pretty much everything. On Sunday I made her Sour Cream Coffee Cake with interesting results. First, I have to admit I changed the recipe. Usually I make it exactly as printed the first time but I had some almond cream left over and decided to add it to the cake. I made it Sunday night so we could have a piece warm with ice cream for dessert and then I'd serve it again for breakfast the next day. Because I decided to add my almond cream I removed a half cup of sugar and the raisins from her recipe.

Mistakes? Yes, I should have cut the crumb mixture in half. The way I constructed the cake was by putting 1 quarter of the batter in the bottom of the bundt pan. Then I pipped in the almond cream. Then I layered 2 quarters of batter on top of this. Then I layered in the crumb mixture and topped with the final quarter of batter. Too much crumb, the top layer had a hard time connecting, literally, to the cake. Some of the chocolate and cinnamon sugar leaked out the side and really cooked to the pan making extraction difficult.

When I did remove the cake it was very floppy. I didn't even cup a piece for dessert for fear it would collapse. Instead I served it for breakfast. The cake has orange zest, cinnamon, chocolate, pecans and almond cream...almost too much on first try. We had it again this morning and it was much better. All of the flavors had mellowed and were quite good. Also, the cake was a little dryer this morning making it easier to dunk in my coffee cup. I do think the almond cream was a good addition. you can decide to experiment or not!

Coffee Cake
For the filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
1/3 raisins or currants
2 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

For the cake
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
Grated zest of one orange
8 ounces unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 cup sour cream

1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Center a rack in the oven. Butter a 9-10 inch (12 cup) bundt pan. Dust the interior with flour.

2. To make the swirl, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Cake: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the sugar and orange zest, mixing with your fingers till incorporated. Now add the butter. With the paddle or whisk attachment beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute inbetween. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add sour cream. Still working on low, add the flour mixture and mix only until incorporated.

4. Scoop one third of the batter into the bundt pan. Evenly sprinkle on half the swirl mixture. Layer in the rest of the batter. With a spatula make a shallow indentation in the center ring of the batter. Fill it with the remaining swirl mixture. Cover the mixture with the batters on the side. It doesn't have to be perfect.

5. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then unmold and cool to room temp.

Don't forget, this cake gets better the next day.

No comments: