Saturday, August 29, 2009

The 6:18 am Coffe Cake Wake Up

Sleepovers for younger girls can be frantic. They try to squeeze every minute. So, even though during the week I drag growling grumpy grinches out of bed at 7 in an effort to be to school on time, this morning I heard their voices drift up the stairs, whispering and planning before 6 am.

Despite my desire to hide, being the only adult in the house meant that a less than decent time later up tromped two of the three actually dressed with hair styled. Their inquiry: when would the requested-the-night-before coffee cake be done? As the child sleeping over was not one of the two that came up, I grunted something less than kind to my two, told them coffee cake takes time and I would get up in a little bit. At least, I think that is what I said.

Two hours later, the promised coffee cake is done and ready to be consumed. We only need to push all the color staining window craft and slumber party scrapbook sheet making stuff off the table. Oh, and the kids have gone back to bed. More for me.

The Classic Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Ring recipe, from King Arthur Flour (KAF) Baking with some modifications:
KAF products are incredible and worth the pricey investment. I had lusted after this cookbook for ages and finally found it used. I should use it more (but, how many baked goods can we eat?).

For the cake:
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour (yes, I used KAF)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 c. ground golden flax seed meal
1 c. low-fat plain yogurt (use a good quality--I like Stonyfield)

For the filling/topping:
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (this is for kids!)
1/3 c. white sugar
1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or spray with cooking spray a bundt or tube-pan. I use an ancient two-piece pan that I bought at a garage sale 20 years ago. It is a thin metal, maybe aluminum?

For the cake:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, oil and sugar until fluffy. I use my Kitchen Aid so I have free hands. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the salt and flavorings and beat until evenly incorporated.

In a seperate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking power, baking soda and flax seed meal. Add the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture alternately with the yogurt, mixing on low speed just until blended.

For the filling:
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and pour the melted butter on top, mixing with a fork until well-incorporated.

Spoon half the cake batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the batter to level it and sprinkle with two thirds of the filling. Top with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining filling.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean (without dough as it will have chocolate on it). Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes (if you can wait). Turn out onto a wire rack carefully. The recipe says to cool completely and then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar before serving. Nothing ever cools around here.

This is a good coffee cake, with rich swirl of chocolate and cinnamon through it and fabulous on its own without any extra butter or adornment.

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