"And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.
Men work together,' I told him from the heart,
Whether they work together or apart."
- Robert Frost "The Tuft of Flowers"
This cover has been my current music obsession for a while now. It's been on repeat most of the week. If you are unaware of the musical genius that is Twenty-One Pilots, you need to educate yourself, because they are the best. Plus, it seemed fitting for the post.
Momma Crawford and Father celebrated their 30th anniversary this past week. To commemorate the milestone, I decided to make a special family dinner with all the showstoppers set in place. Freshly fried chicken, seasoned mashed potatoes, cheddar butter biscuits (side note: these little dollops of heaven taste identical to the ones from 'Red Lobster'. Recipe for those coming soon) and, for dessert, old fashioned coffee cake with a cold brew icing. It was a night of laughs, talks of the past, and true, down-home comfort cookin'.
When making this dinner, I was reminded of all the life lessons my parents have taught me through the years about life, love, and happiness. From the funny memories to the heartfelt words of wisdom that will last a life time, I reminisced about it all. My parents have bestowed much elderly grace upon Jon and I over the years. From how to drive, how to put out both an oven and grill fire, how to laugh at ourselves, reasons to value good friends, and always remember to believe in ourselves. Twenty years is a long time for learning and growing and every moment has been worth it. Happy Anniversary Momma Crawford and Father with many more to come!
Now back to coffee cake. I won the book Huckleberry and two other cookbooks from Chronicle Book’s for their “The Great Tumblr Book Search” contest a few months back. Flipping through the pages, everything looked divine. From the variety of teacakes, breads, cobblers, crumbles, entrees, and side dishes, my mouth was watering and I wanted to try them all, but I was skeptical. It wasn’t until I read a post by Thalia from Butter and Brioche, where she made an adaptation to the book’s Fresh Blueberry Brioche recipe, before I knew I had to experiment. I went with my gut and made some brioche bread. What I was in for was the best bread I’ve ever tasted. More about my brioche experience on my French toast post here. In a short and sweet phrase, I was hooked. I had become a full-on fanatic for Huckleberry. Though I wanted to put my fangirling to the test. Was Huckleberry all it was cracked up to be or just a one-hit-wonder?
In the words of Jon, “This is the best cake I’ve ever had. Period.” I’ve had some pretty outstanding cakes in my life, but this cake was definitely one to beat. It was warm, buttery, and rich. Its texture was a bit on the denser side, but still had a lightness to it. From the sweetness of the sugar, to the boldness of the butter, while rounding out beautifully with the cold brew icing, this cake was filled to the brim with outrageous flavor combinations and textures. The sugared walnuts gave the cake a nice added crunch without overpowering the cakes softness. That cake had a sonorous effect on the entire family. It was quickly devoured in a matter of days, it was that delicious. In the spirit of coffee cake, I knew I had to add something coffee. With heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and cold brew, I decided to make a simple icing drizzle for the top of the cake right before serving. The dark roasted flavors of the coffee and the sweetness of the sugar were the perfect combinations to take this coffee cake to the next level.
Old Fashioned Coffee Cake with a Cold Brew Icing
Recipe adapted from Huckleberry
- 5 ½ tablespoons/80 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup/65 g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup/65 g almond meal
- 4 ½ tablespoon/55 g sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup/130 g walnuts, toasted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups/340 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons/380 g sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 ½ cups/310 g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup/45 g almond flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups/350 ml sour cream
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cold brew coffee (optional)
- Pre-step: I would feel bad about eating this cake, but today is my cheat day. In all honesty, every day is my cheat day (that can be our little secret).
- To make the crumble: In a medium bowl, combine the butter, all-purpose flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, combine the ingredients together until everything is well combined and moistened. Allow a few small bits of butter to remain. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- To make the streusel: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon and pulse until the walnuts are ground, but not becoming a paste. Set aside.
- To make the cake: position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line and grease a 10-in round cake pan or spring form pan. Use butter to lightly grease the pan and use parchment paper to line the pan for the best results.
- With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy and the sugar begins to dissolve into the butter. Incorporate the vanilla and stir in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sour cream. Mix carefully, just until all combined. Do not overmix! If over-mixed, the batter will become tough.
Scoop half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the batter. Top with the rest of the batter, coaxing it into covering the streusel layer. Top with the crumble. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until fully baked through. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
- Tip: Test if the cake is done by sticking a toothpick in the center, if it comes out dry, the cake is finished. If it comes out wet or with chunks of batter, bake in 5 minute intervals until a clean toothpick is achieved. Never pull the cake out of the oven until completely baked. Taking the cake out of the oven before it is completely set may deactivate the rising agents in the batter and the cake will fall.
- Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment paper away from the cake. Rest the serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.
- To make the icing: in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, and cold brew coffee. Stir with a fork to combine. Drizzle over the top of the cake before serving.