Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coffee Cake Tawk

The Jersey Girl can’t get down with coffee for seven more weeks, but she can totally have her coffee cake and eat it, too.

And, it’s not just any coffee cake, dear amazing fabulous readers. It’s chocolate coffee cake.


So, I made a huge pan of Chocolate Coffee Cake from the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book a few weeks ago.

(My up-to-date blogging has been pathetic, to say the least. The whole preparing-for-baby stage of life has taken over my world.)

Let’s just say, this cake is filled with yumminess.

Of course, a portion went to me and The Husband and the Most Awesome Baby in my Belly Ever. Another piece headed down to Stone Harbor for the in-laws. And yet another hunk went to Uncle Frank for helping my Baby Daddy put together the crib.

So, right. This cake could feed an army. It’s quite gi-hugic.

Now is the perfect time to bake it, when the nights get cooler and you just want to have a slice of chocolately heaven with your cup of tea. Oh, English Breakfast, how I miss thee.

I know. There’s always decaf. But it ain’t the same. I don’t care what you say. There is a major difference in taste.

In my fantasy world, my first post-pregnancy meal would be: A ton of sushi, a bottle of red wine and a nice cup of coffee. But, who am I kidding? I’m doing the nursing thang and this most likely will not occur. A girl, I mean Baby Mamma can dream, right?

Chocolate Coffee Cake
Makes one 9-by-13-inch (22-by-33-cm) cake
From the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

For the Streusel:
2/3 cup (4 oz/125 g) all-purpose plain flour
½ cup (3 ½ oz/105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. (3 oz/90 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup (4 ½ oz/140 g) chocolate chips (see Notes)

For the Cake:
1 ½ cups (7 ½ oz/235 g) all-purpose plain flour
½ cup (2 oz/60 g) cake soft-wheat flour
2/3 cup (2 oz/60 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 ¼ cups (10 oz/315 g) sour cream
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Grease and flour a 9-by-13 inch (23-by-33-cm) baking pan or dish. If using a glass baking dish, set the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius).

To make the streusel, in a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

To make the cake, in a bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 2 or 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Using the mixer on low speed, beat the batter until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Pour the battered into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the batter.

Bake until the topping is golden brown, 40-45 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into squares to serve.

NOTES: Semisweet (plain) or bittersweet chocolate chips can be used in this coffee cake recipe. To intensify the chocolate flavor, add 1 ½ tsp. pure chocolate extract when beating in the sour cream and vanilla.

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