I don’t bake many sweets... don’t eat many sweets... don’t even think about sweets very often. Yesterday was an exception since I had invited a girlfriend, Pat, for coffee. Pat loves to bake and said she would bring along a treat for us to nibble on. Yum, that sounded good, but you can’t invite someone over and then not feed them, Mom taught me better than that. So I skimmed my computer recipe file for inspiration... nope, not feeling inspired. I flipped through several B&B cookbooks for inspiration... nope, still not inspired. Then a slim, rarely used volume, smooshed way left on a cookbook shelf, caught my eye… Starbucks Passion for Coffee . This one might work.
The cover photo featured a coffee cake that looked pretty tasty, and I had all most of the ingredients on hand.
Streusel Crumb Coffee Cake was a good choice, not too sweet but sweet enough. Pat’s Craizin Bread was terrific, especially toasted and spread with a bit of lingonberry jam, but I like to think the coffee cake held it’s own. We ate ladylike slices of coffee cake yesterday, but today it's half gone... not all my doing, Ron enjoyed it too.
Streusel Crumb Coffee Cake
recipe from Starbucks Passion for Coffee, Sunset Publishing Co, Aug 1994 Serves 10-12
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom (substituted allspice)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the cake:
2 cups cake flour (substituted AllPurpose)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Preheat an oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan, a 9-inch springform pan or an 8-inch square baking pan. (I used a 9-inch springform and the center never really set up, so I'll try a tube pan time to get the heat to the center)
To make the streusel: combine the graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, brown sugar, spices and melted butter. Blend well and set aside.
To make the cake: sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla and milk. Beat vigorously until smooth and quite thick, about 1 minute.
Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel, then top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a long wood toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (Nope, in a 9-inch springform pan it took an extra 20 minutes of baking at 350 F) Cool about 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan.
The cake took an extra 20 minutes in the oven to firm up; oh! did that batter jiggle after the recommended 50 minutes. After the extra time the streusel was just threatening to scorch. Burnt streusel is not very appetizing, so I carefully flicked off the few dark crumbs - shhhh, don't tell. After cooling for 20 minutes, the center/bottom 1/8 inch of the cake was still quite moist - we ate it and enjoyed it anyway. After a couple of hours most of the extra moisture seemed to disappear. Next time I will use a tube pan and see if it bakes more evenly when the heat can more readily reach the center.