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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This is delicious in the spring or fall. It is the perfect accompaniment to crisp mornings that require a good cup of hot tea or coffee.

2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. milk (optional)
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (10X) (optional)
1 cup fresh raspberries or other fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter & flour a Bundt or rosette pan.

Cream butter until smooth and gradually add 2 cups of sugar on medium speed until light and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. (5-6 minutes) Add the eggs gradually and continue beating until the mixture is thick, fluffy, and doubles in volume. (4-5 minutes) Beat in sour cream and vanilla (2 minutes more).

In a separate bowl, combine 2 Tbsp. sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift the mixture twice. Carefully fold in the flour mixture with the butter mixture (half at a time) until smooth. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread to the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon-walnut mixture evenly over the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the top, making the sides higher than the center.

Bake in the center of the oven until the top is set and springs back when touched and the cake pulls away slightly from the pan. (55-60 minutes) Let the cake cool for 1 hour. Unmold cake onto serving plate.

For Glaze: Whisk milk and confectioner's sugar until smooth. Garnish cake with fruit and drizzle glaze over cake.

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