I really love breakfast breads and try to make a new (or favorite) recipe weekly (muffins, cakes, waffles, rolls..). For dinner. It's become a tradition that my family votes to keep on and I'm all for it. (I've realized that baking is more enjoyable to me than cooking. It's kind of my weekly cooking break even if I have to get a head start on the meal.)
We eat ours with any variety of eggs, fresh fruit and yogurt.
This week was spiced blueberry- sour cream coffee cake. It's the perfect merge from summer (fresh berries) to fall (warm spices) and nutty, gooey topping. And it's delicious:
1 cup pecans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
about 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sour cream, at room temperature
2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over, rinsed if needed, patted dry
1. To make the topping, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400F. In a shallow metal pan, like a cake tin, toast the pecans in the oven, stirring them once or twice, until they are crisp, fragrant, and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pecans from the pan immediately and cool, then coarsely chop. Lower the oven temperature to 350F. Generously butter the inside for a 10-inch by 4-inch (4-quart) tube ban.
2. In a small bowl, with a pastry cutter or two knives, cut together the butter and brown sugar until bits the size of large crumbs form. Using your fingers, mix in the pecans. Spread the pecan mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan, covering it all. Chill the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the cake batter.
3. To make the cake, sift the flour onto a piece of waxed paper (or plate). Spoon the flour into a dry-measure cup and sweep level to measure about 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons. Set aside another 1 tablespoon flour. Return the rest of the flour to the canister. Onto the piece of waxed paper, sift together the 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
4. In a large bowl, combine the butter, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With a handheld or standing electric mixer, thoroughly cream together the butter and spices. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy. One at a time, with the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, beating just until incorporated. Add the sifted dry ingredients in thirds alternately with the sour cream, in halves, mixing just enough after each addition to fully incorporate the ingredients.
5. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Spread one-fourth of the batter evenly over the pecan layer in the bottom of the prepared ban. Scatter one-third of the blueberries over the batter layer, being sure to place some near the sides of the pan so that they will be visible in the finished cake. Repeat three more times with the remaining batter and twice more with the remaining berries, ending with a batter layer.
6. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and has just begun to pull away from the sides of the pan, 65-75 minutes. The top of the cake, when pressed lightly, should spring back, and a tester, inserted deep into the cake, should come out clean.
7. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Run a long sharp knife carefully between the cake and the sides of the pan, and between the cake and the central tube. Invert the cake plate over the pan, then carefully invert the plate and the pan together; the cake will drop out. Scrape up any pecan topping that may have stuck in the bottom of the pan and spread it over the gaps on top of the cake.
8. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
[from The Jimtown Store Cookbook.]