Monday, May 9, 2011

sour cream coffee cake

I am happy to report that sour cream coffee cake has restored my faith in my beloved “COOK BOOK.”

This cake – which actually makes two almost identical appearances in the book – is everything I had hoped.

It calls for the somewhat unusual step of mixing the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl.* This made me think of all those science experiments I used to conduct with baking soda and vinegar over the kitchen sink as a child. Some kind of chemical reaction is definitely happening to the sour cream: it puffs up and is incredibly fun to stir, because it suddenly doesn’t feel one bit like sour cream.

Then the cake marbles itself as you bake it, but there’s no complicated light batter and dark batter to mix up and create twice the dishes. Instead, you put half the batter in the cake pan and sprinkle it with a cinnamon-nut-sugar mixture. 

 Pour over the rest of the batter and sprinkle again. Voilà!

It bakes into a lovely little cake. (A six-inch cake, if you must know. After my scare with the chocolate tomato juice cake, it seemed prudent to halve this large recipe.)

The crumb is incredibly moist and the bits of brown sugar and nut provide a sparkle on the tongue.

If I lived a life of leisure and could entertain friends with coffee in the mid-morning, this is the cake I would serve them. As it is, sour cream cake is darn fine any other time of day, even if you must eat it at your desk in the workaday world.

*Yes, yes, of course this makes sense for the acid in the sour cream to release the magic in the baking powder. But still – have you ever done this before?

sour cream coffee cake

bakes to fill a 6” round pan
may easily double to bake in 8” x 8” pan or larger

1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. soft butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. wheat flour
            Or, for gluten-free:
            25 g. (scant 1/4 c.) sweet white sorghum flour
            22 g. (1/4 c.) oat flour
            25 g. (3 tbsp.) sweet rice flour
            25. g. (3 tbsp.) tapioca starch
            25 g. (3 tbsp.) potato starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour your pan with either wheat flour or sweet rice flour.

Combine brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine sour cream and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Set aside.

Mix flour(s), baking powder and salt well. Alternate adding dry ingredients and sour cream mixture to butter mixture. Spread half of batter in pan. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon mixture. Cover with rest of batter. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon mixture.

Bake 30 – 45 minutes, depending on pan size. Remove from oven when a cake poker comes out clean.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear this went better than the tomato juice cake!