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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Riff On A Classic

Lest you think I've gone completely off the deep end with far flung ingredients like cauliflower, I thought I'd post this riff on the classic coffee cake.  I love coffee cake in any form, and one that claims to have a great crumb, and is both rich and moist, demands at least a try.

Let me just put it out there that this is still a coffee cake, so if you're looking for a mock coffee cake, (i.e. one that has no carbs or calories), you might want to skip this post and tune in again tomorrow.  But if you're into cake that calls for yogurt instead of the classic sour cream, read on.

I have to admit, I was dubious.  I grew up on sour cream coffee cake with the classic streusel topping.  I really had no need to improve on what clearly is coffee cake perfection.  But I'm an adventurous sort, and this recipe did pique my interest.  (I like to throw in SAT words like pique occasionally because they amuse my friend Deborah, who loves vocabulary, syntax, and punctuation  almost as much as I do.)

But back to the cake.  The cake is made with plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  I only had non-fat greek yogurt in the house so I used that.  The resulting cake is moist and dense without being heavy, and has a crumb to die for.  And I'm a sucker for a good crumb.

As much as I hate to admit it, this cake could be as good as the classic court cream coffee cake.  Nonetheless, I think the next time I make this I'll double the streusel, because I love streusel almost as much as I love a good crumb.

Recipe:  Yogurt Coffee Cake
(Two Peas and Their Pod)

Note:  If you're so inclined, double the streusel.

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (I use 0% plain Chobani)
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the streusel:
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the cream cheese glaze:
3 ounces softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk, or enough to make it a glazing consistency


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and Greek yogurt. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. To make the cream cheese glaze, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and milk. Beat until smooth and until you have a glaze consistency. Drizzle cream cheese glaze over cooled cake and serve.

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