Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Popular cake can be kept on the go for days

It's good for brunch, afternoon coffee, or dessert

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THANKS to the many readers who wrote in reply to Dolores M.'s request for sour cream coffee cake, including JoAnne Baccus, Janet Martin, Shirley Rypp, Marjorey Dwornick, Linda Vincent, Florence Bouchard, Audrey Showdra of Swan River, Linda Snider of Glenboro, Elisabeth Laing and Edith Taylor. (Edith's husband sent the email and added that she had been making her recipe -- "a little gem," he calls it -- since before they were married, or "45 years and counting.")

There were only a few minor variations among the recipes, and most readers cited community cookbooks or old family recipes for their sources. You can see why this would be a very popular recipe: It's the kind of cake you can keep on the go for a few days, for brunch, afternoon coffee or dessert. I tested one version that can be baked in a 9-inch square pan, as well as a larger bundt version, and I've added a few tips from the different recipes.

This week, Al Borys is hoping someone might have clipped a recipe for moose ribs, which appeared in the Free Press a few years ago. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

 

JoAnne Baccus's easy coffee cake

250 ml (1 cup) sour cream (14 per cent butterfat)

5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda

114 g (1/2 cup) butter, softened

250 ml (1 cup) white sugar

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

2 eggs, well beaten

425 ml (1 3/4 cups) sifted all-purpose flour

10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder

 

Topping:

60 ml (1/4 cup) brown sugar

about 12 ml (2-3 tsp) cinnamon

30 ml (2 tbsp) nuts, finely chopped, and/or 30 ml (2 tbsp) chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Grease and flour a 22 x 22 cm (9 x 9 in) square baking pan. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well. Sift flour and baking powder together, and add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, blending gently but thoroughly after each addition and starting and ending with dry ingredients. Prepare topping by combining brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts in small bowl. Spread half the batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with half the topping, cover with remaining batter and then remaining topping. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until thin knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake.

Tester's notes: A dense and moist coffee cake that's easy to make. Nuts and chocolate are the most popular streusel additions, and I like JoAnne's idea of adding both. Another possibility: Linda Snider and Edith Taylor's streusels both use butter -- Edith's uses 90 g (6 tbsp) soft butter, 250 ml (1 cup brown sugar), 10 ml (2 tsp) cinnamon and 250 ml (1 cup) chopped nuts -- to give a rich, crumbly topping.

 

Easy coffee cake

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Easy coffee cake (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Photo Store

Elisabeth Laing's french coffee cake

114 g (1/2 cup) butter, softened

125 ml (1/2 cup) shortening

175 ml (3/4 cup) white sugar

175 ml (3/4 cup) brown sugar

6 eggs

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

5 ml (1 tsp) almond flavour

750 ml (3 cups) all-purpose flour

5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

250 ml (1 cup) sour cream (14 per cent butterfat)

 

Topping:

84 g (3 oz or 3 squares) semi-sweet chocolate, grated

175 ml (3/4 cup) brown sugar

10 ml (2 tsp) cinnamon

Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Grease and flour a large bundt pan or a 22 cm (9 in) tube pan. In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Add to egg mixture alternately with sour cream, blending gently but thoroughly after each addition, and beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Make topping by combining grated chocolate, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour half the batter into the prepared bundt or tube pan, sprinkle with half the topping, pour over the other half of the batter and then the other half of the topping. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool thoroughly on a rack and then invert onto a plate.

Tester's notes: This is a moist, egg-rich coffee cake. And, I had absolutely no problems with what I sometimes call my "bundt cake issue," which is when the outside is over-browned while the middle is still uncooked. This one baked up beautifully for me. Some readers like to run a knife through the batter and topping to "marbleize" the streusel mix. Elisabeth sometimes substitutes 250 ml (1 cup) chopped nuts for the chocolate. She suggests lightly toasting the nuts first to draw out the flavour.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2012 C5

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