Russian Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

Yesterday it was my turn to bring breakfast for our weekly work Breakfast Club. Taking a more traditional approach than I did last time, when I brought in my quesadilla maker (Olé), I volunteered to bring in two coffee cakes.  One had to be Sicilian Orange Cake, because it just might be the king of all coffee cakes. But I wanted to try something new for my second offering, so I made this Russian recipe. Its sour cream base makes it creamy and moist, and the nut topping gives a little bit of texture and spice. And if the “king” title is already taken, this one can be the coffee cake Tsar.

*Wondering where the photo of the finished product is? Well, in the chaos of my cake-laden commute that morning, I forgot to give it its proper photo shoot. I guess that means I’ll just have to make it again!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup, divided
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
pinch of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together butter,  sour cream, 1 cup of the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three batches, stirring well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine the walnuts, ginger, nutmeg, and the 1/2 cup of sugar.

Grease a baking pan. Spread half the batter into the pan and top with half the nut mixture. Then spread the rest of the batter over the top and add the rest of the nut mixture. Using a knife, make several slashes through the batter; this draws some of the nut mixture deeper into the cake.

Bake on middle rack for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Priyatnogo appetita!

Drunken Squirrel’s Cake.

Yes, Drunken Squirrel’s Cake. Named for two of its distinguishing ingredients, walnuts and Kahlua, this flourless cake is gooey and delicious with a hot cup of tea on a chilly afternoon. Inspired by a cake from Laura Calder, it bakes up brown and beautiful and has a super-tender soft texture thanks to its nutty flourless batter. If you can, use a more petite cake pan, as this little guy is meant to be smaller and taller rather than wide and flat. The air that we’ll beat into the eggs makes everything puff up while baking and then fall down while cooling, which makes for a cake that’s both dense and airy at the same time. Squirrels and people everywhere, rejoice!

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INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup walnuts
about 2 tbsp plain breadcrumbs (I’ve used regular bread crumbs, panko, and a crumbled up piece of toast, and they all work great)
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp grated semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp warm honey
1/4 cup melted butter (melted just to easy pouring consistency, but not so melted that it becomes oily and separates)
1 tbsp Kahlua
powdered sugar for serving

Just the Recipe link: Drunken Squirrel’s Cake

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat a pan over medium and add the walnuts. Toast them until they’re nutty and fragrant, careful not to burn them. Then blitz the walnuts and breadcrumbs in a food processor until powdery.

Separate eggs into two bowls. Don’t use a plastic bowl for the yolks, as you’ll need to whisk them over heat. Add the sugar to the yolks and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water in the pan. Whisk over heat until the yolk mixture has tripled in size and is “thick, pale, and ribbony.” Remove from heat.

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Add nut mixture, chocolate, honey, butter, and Kahlua to yolks. Gently fold together.

Now whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This takes some elbow grease, but don’t lose heart–you’ll get there.

Add a spoonful of whites to the yolk mixture and gently combine, to loosen the yolk batter. Then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into a well-greased cake pan.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan; because we beat so much air into the eggs, the cake will fall a bit, so don’t worry if you see it starting to sink.

Remove the cooled cake from the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with another walnut or two. Lovely!

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Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake.

Yesterday I noticed that we had 2 apples that were about to go bad. I hate wasting perfectly good fruit, so I did some recipe-hunting and found some inspiration for an apple cake. After a few tweaks and additions, I came up with this super tasty coffee cake, with just the right sweetness and spice. A perfect accompaniment to my morning pot of Barry’s Irish Breakfast Tea (the best black tea on earth). Coffee cake is pure joy!

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake | KellyintheKitchen | 2 apples, 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 6 tbsp butter, heaping 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 tbsp baking powder, pinch of salt, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup almonds, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, pinch of ground ginger

INGREDIENTS

2 apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
heaping 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cups flour (I’ve used half wheat, half all-purpose, and I’ve used just all-purpose. Both are good)
1/2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Toss sliced apples in cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Sift in half the flour and stir to combine. Then stir in the milk. Finally, add the rest of the flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Stir until just combined.

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Grease a spring-form pan or other cake pan. Spread about half the batter on the bottom of the pan, and cover with apples. Then spread the remaining batter over the apples.

Combine almonds, cinnamon, and ginger, and sprinkle evenly over the cake. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. I don’t blame you if you dig right in, but cooling it slightly means it will cut a little cleaner. Yum!

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