I’m crawling to the finish line. I’ve just completed a year of living and traveling abroad, which has been an amazing whirlwind adventure– there will be more writings about this in a bit. For the moment, I’m days away from moving into my new apartment! I’ve been living quite nomadically for several months now, and I have to say that I am now officially over it, and I’m sooo ready to set up my own little space and have my own kitchen again. I feel like this poor blog is in shambles, as I haven’t had much of a chance to bake in many weeks, and even less energy to write. I’ve been so faithful to keeping up with Baked Sunday Mornings, and even that has fallen by the wayside recently. Fortunately, I baked this week’s recipe, Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl from BAKED: New Frontiers in Baking, a few months ago, anticipating that I wouldn’t be able to bake in early June. It served as the “adult food” for my friend’s twins’ first birthday breakfast party, and I got a lot of nice compliments. (And can we talk about the idea of a breakfast birthday party? I mean, a spread of celebratory breakfast grub– I can definitely get behind that…)
The coffee cake is made by alternating layers of cake batter and a dry cocoa-cinnamon-sugar filling, then topping the whole thing with a pecan crumble. The latter tasted much more strongly of cinnamon and the cocoa powder was not super prominent, so I bumped it up from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon and I’m so glad I did! The batter was ultra-thick and difficult to spread to the edges of the pan even with an offset spatula, especially between layers of the sandy filling (although it might have been easier if I hadn’t lined the entire pan with parchment paper). The recipe describes “pouring” the batter; mine was not at all pourable, but it worked out fine in the end, and then I scattered the topping over the whole thing.
By the way, don’t worry if the batter looks curdled after adding the eggs– it will come together in a cinch once you add the sour cream.
I baked the cake for 53 minutes and it was a smidge drier than I would’ve liked. Not DRY per se, but I would’ve liked it a touch more moist and fluffy. The book says to bake for an hour, which would have been waaaay too long in this particular oven (at my friends’ house), as the bottom of the cake was already a little overdone. I wouldn’t mind rebaking this in my own oven at some point to check the texture again.
The coffee cake had a beautiful flavor; it was rich from the sour cream, and I especially liked the crumb topping, though I would like to form bigger crumb chunks next time. The increased cocoa powder absolutely helped the chocolate flavor come through. Given how difficult it had been to spread the cake batter, I was surprised that the filling came out more like distinct ripples than a “swirl”.