Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Quick Coffee Cake

Coffee cakes which are raised with yeast and served when still warm from the oven are my preference. Their steamy softness emitting a whiff of spice and topped either with buttery crumbs or a plain icing makes me happy that an aromatic, invigorating brown liquid exists.


But this type takes time. My culinary bible, Fannie Farmer, to the rescue! It contains a recipe for a baking powder version whose simple cinnamon sugar topping becomes transformed into a carmelised crust which seals in moisture. Barely an hour is needed to put a freshly baked delice on the table!


INGREDIENTS
makes nine approximately 2.5 inch/6.5 cm squares

  • Sugar, white, 200 grams/8 fluid oz
  • Flour, white, 245 grams/14 fluid oz
  • Baking powder, 2 tsp
  • Butter, sweet, 60 grams/4 T (cold and cut into small pieces)
  • Egg, large, 1, slightly beaten
  • Milk, whole, 1 dL/4 fluid oz
  • Topping:  1 T sugar mixed with 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • If desired, cake squares can be split and filled with lemon curd, recipe here (decrease sugar by 2 T because this cake is pretty sweet)

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C/375 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch/20 cm square pan. Mix the sugar, the flour, and the baking powder in a large bowl.


Work in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand.


Add the egg and milk...


...and blend till mostly smooth.


Spoon into pan. Shake to level out the thick batter. If required, smooth out to the edges with a wet, metal tablespoon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly all over the top.


Bake for about thirty minutes or until the sides pull away just a bit and when the centre is pressed it springs back slightly. Served warm, this cake has a pleasing doughy crumb and a crust close to toffee in taste and texture. It still is pretty good when completely cooled and in that state it can be easily split and filled with lemon curd. You are right if you are thinking that I didn't wait for either the cake or the curd to cool completely. Hence the yellow lava flow.

A fabulous pairing!

Dirac the kitten is slated to start a course where he will learn not to run in circles around my computer screen. Well, at least not continuously for thirty minutes. Yes, he is still teething and thank goodness for hacky sacks and the international conglomerate who inserts them in our cereal boxes.

One half of the circle: back of the screen

The other half of the circle:  front of the screen

À la prochaine!