Coffee Cake

Recipe taken from Joy of Baking

Topping:
1 cup (100 grams) pecans
1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
1/3 cup (50 grams) chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon (15 grams) all purpose flour

Coffee Cake:
2 cups (200 grams) sifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160 ml) sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool and then coarsely chop. Set aside.

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, ground cinnamon and flour. Set aside.

-Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) a 9-inch (23 cm) spring form pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.

-In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

-In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined.

-Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Sprinkle about half of the nut topping on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and then sprinkle with the remaining nut topping. Bake for about 40 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.

This is a decent recipe, but the bread dishes continue to plague me.  I’m sure some of the problem is my tendency to over knead the dough, which is due in part to my lack of an electric mixer.  Perhaps I am still slightly off with my measurements.  Whatever the main culprit, the cake itself was not as moist as you would normally want a coffee cake to be.  Granted, it still tasted pretty good, but you could definitely tell that it could have been better.  Also, be aware that if the nuts are still warm when you add in the chocolate chips, the chocolate will melt and make it hard as hell to spread evenly over the cake batter.  You can see in the picture that the topping basically ended up in clumps near the center of the dish.

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