Monday, July 18, 2011

strawberry coffee cake

my favorite thing about this coffee cake is the unexpected use of fresh herbs. the berries mixed with the rosemary in particular made me feel incredibly cozy and happy. rustic and simple.

last week i made my first pilgrimage to the dekalb farmer's market. having put off such an occasion out of fear for the unknown, i went in a bit hesitantly. the place is daunting. a big open warehouse is full of people, unfamiliarity but also lots of surprises. i was able to score my organic raw nuts for a fraction of the price i normally pay. i also came home with some fun new things to try like chia seeds and spelt flour.

when i got home with my hodge podge of cheap wine, nuts, etc i had no idea what i was going to do with some of it. i researched recipes with spelt flour and found this one:

strawberry coffee cake
slightly adapted from 101 cookbook's maple huckleberry coffee cake

yields: 12 - 16 modest slices.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk (i used half + half)
1 1/3 cups fresh wild huckleberries (i used chopped strawberries), well picked over

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup maple sugar (i drizzled maple syrup over the crumble)
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped pecans

special equipment: a 1-pound loaf pan

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, rack in the middle. Butter a 1-pound loaf pan, and line with parchment paper. Alternately, you could just butter and flour the pan, but I've found that lining the pan with parchment makes removing the cake from the pan after baking no problem.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, thyme, and rosemary. Set aside. In a separate large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer or by hand - until light and fluffy. Drizzle in the maple syrup and beat until well incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times along the way. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again. Add half of the flour, stir just a bit, now add a splash of the buttermilk, stir again, but not too much. Add the rest of the flour and stir a bit, and now the rest of the buttermilk. Stir until everything barely comes together and then very gently fold in one cup of the huckleberries. Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.

To make the streusel topping, place the flour, butter, maple sugar, thyme and pecans in a food processor and pulse 20-30 times or until the topping is a bit beyond sandy/crumbly. It should be moist-looking - on its way to being slightly doughy. Crumble 2/3 of it over the cake batter, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup huckleberries on top of that, and then add the last of the crumble. Barely pat in place with your fingertips.

Place the coffee cake in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for five minutes and then remove it from the pan to cool on a rack (this way the cake won't steam in the pan as it's cooling.

recipe + instructions from 101 cookbooks
i ended up eating practically the entire cake alone. again, why i should not bake when matilda's napping and i'm left to my own devices. the cake was so crumbly and perfect with just enough maple goodness to make it sweet. pair with ethiopian organic coffee and a good friend. perfect sunday brunch food.


Carly Anne said...

Wow - the herbs really are unexpected. It makes me want to try this recipe out!

Claire Kiefer said...


McMel said...

ok, i'm baking this RIGHT NOW- that's how yummy this sounded. i didn't have the special flour, so i had to just use regular white flour, but i had everything else. i also learned from this recipe that i can't follow directions... even though i cook almost every day. so i hope this even turns out to remotely resemble what you made

Hiking in Stilettos said...

YUM! You should also try the chia seed flour. I've recreated a dairy-free, sugar-free version of the DFM gluten-free chia seed & currant muffins using chia seed flour and almond flour. So delish!

homemade grits said...

re: mcmel

let me know how it turned out!

Caroline said...

Oh my yum!

McMel said...

for not following half the recipe, it turned out ah-mazing. my whole house smelled herby! it tastes soo good!

fresh365 said...

Yes, please! Love the herbs in here!