Ok — I admit to being a food snob. A decade or so ago I was taking Melanie (our Grand-One) on a day trip and we stopped for a meal. After we had ordered and while waiting on our meal, she looked at me with her 12-ish year old eyes and said, “JaJa, you’re fussy about your food, aren’t you.” And I guess she was right. Food needn’t be pretentious but it has to be excellent. It has to taste right. If you’re going to call it by a name, then by golly you better deliver what you promise. And the less you mess about with the ingredients the better.
Well, this is a recipe I love. There are oodles and oodles of Coffee Cake recipes, but not many use the muffin method and by adding the sour cream to the recipe the texture of the cake is altered completely. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has.
I should add that I have never had the cake cook in the time prescribed by the recipe (20 minutes) — so I have adjusted the time upwards. The recipe came from The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer (Simon & Schuster). The edition I have is from the late 1960’s and it asks for all the ingredients to be at 75º before starting. I have never managed to accomplish that — we don’t live in warm climes and I never keep the house that warm, and I don’t usually plan what I’m going to bake for breakfast far enough in advance to wait for eggs and sour cream to warm up. So, you may have to adjust the bake time for yourself. The unique texture will still come through if you use the wet ingredients colder.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
When made in a 9” square pan it makes 9 nice slices.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole toasted almonds
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar or white sugar, or a combination
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, COLD
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-9-inch pan.
Prepare the streusel:
Combine the flour, nuts, sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Pulse until butter is partially broken up into smaller bits, but stop before butter has been completely dispersed. There should be chopped into , using a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Put in the freezer until you are ready to put the cake in the oven.
For the cake:
Whisk together all the dry ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and vanilla. Add in the eggs and beat until well blended.
Mix wet and dry ingredients — the batter with be relatively dry and thick. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Remove the streusel from the freezer and sprinkle evenly across the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool briefly in the pan on a rack.
Serve warm, if possible.