Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sunken Streusel Coffee Cake

Did you ever make a recipe that didn't come out the way it was supposed to, but it was still really, really, really good?

Yeah, that's what happened here.

I wanted to make something from the book The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi, and the two recipes that I was contemplating were the Adobo Potato Gratin and the Sonoran Honey Streusel Coffee Cake.

I was drooling over those potatoes, but then I ended up making a pasta dish for dinner - and potatoes don't really go with pasta. So I decided to make the coffee cake, even though cakes are always tricky up here at high altitude.

The cake was supposed to have a streusel topping. I love streusel and crumb toppings. But ... instead of it being a topping, it sunk into the cake. Which was actually pretty cool. It created a wavy crazy layer of a fudge-like, caramel-like sweet filling. And the top of the cake was bumpy and lumpy and interesting, too.

The sign of a good recipe is that even when something goes wrong, it's still all right. And if you mess something up, it still works. And if it's a cake and you bake it at high altitude, it still is a cake.

I've had cakes fail pretty spectacularly up here. The cake itself rose nicely and didn't do anything weird, so that's a really good sign. And it's really good. I might make it again without the topping, and add a drizzle or frosting after it's baked. Yeah, it's that good. Or I might just let that topping sink. Heh. If no one knew it wasn't supposed to do that, they'd never guess.

The original title of this was Sonoran Honey Streusel Coffee Cake, because the author used a Sonoran honey, but suggested using a local honey. I used the Ambrosia honey that I get from Madhava. It's really great stuff.

As for those potatoes ... they're still bookmarked, along with a bunch of recipes I really need to try.

Sunken Streusel Coffee Cake
Formerly known as Sonoran Honey Streusel Coffee Cake
Adapted from The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi

For the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cus all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup your favorite local honey
2/3 cup buttermilk

For the streusel:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. I folded the parchment to fit the bottom of the pan and up the two sides to make a sling for the cake. I left the other two sides uncovered.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until incorporated.

In another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add the flour to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with first, the honey, then the buttermilk. Mix just long enough to create a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Now, make the streusel. Put the ingredients in a small bowl and use your fingers to combine. You should have a somewhat crumbly mixture. Scatter this on top of the cake batter.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Let the cake cool slightly in the pan before removing it from the pan and cooling completely on a rack. Or, if you like, you can serve it from the pan.

I received this book from the publisher.