Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blueberry Coffee Cake

A rare and wonderful day spent with friends. They recently bought a house in a neighboring state, so getting together will involve more planning the future, but yesterday it was a simple drive and a great afternoon of catching up and playing with the kids (they hadn't seen JJ since his birth).

I put together a lunch menu that I thought would be okay with the expected heat: tortilla di patatas (from All Around the World, a fabulous book to read as well as to cook from, by one of the Silver Palate girls); spinach and strawberry salad; some toasted Italian bread with purchased bruschetta topping, and Lisa Yockelson's blueberry coffee cake once we had recovered from all of that. I have acquired something of a crush on Ms. Yockelson, based purely on the pictures of her kitchen in Baking by Flavor. Maybe a little bit on the fact that her recipes are bliss on a fork and entirely dependable.

Cinnamon and Sugar Topping
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Batter
1 c sour cream
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 c unsifted cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 c fresh blueberries
1/4 lb (8 Tbsp, one stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 c superfine sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Film the inside of a 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the topping ingredients; set aside.

Combine the sour cream and baking soda. The mixture will swell and puff a bit as it stands.

Sift the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. In a small bowl, thoroughly toss the blueberries with 1 1/2 tsp of the sifted mixture.

Cream the butter on moderate speed in a stand mixer for 2 minutes. Add the superfine sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.

On low speed, add half the dry ingredients, the sour cream blend, and the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to keep the batter even-textured. The batter will be moderately thick. Fold in the bliueberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the surface.

Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until set and a wooden pick inserted into the center withdraws clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature. Keeps 2-3 days.

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