37: Cardamom-Crumb Coffee Cake
I like breakfast or brunch on the weekends. I have lunch every weekday, but I can’t make sit-down breakfasts during the week. There’s simply no time to cook, and no time to eat and enjoy, baked goods or pancakes or waffles during the week. This morning I sorted through my recipes again to find something different to make. After the disappointment with the blueberry pancakes last week, and the fiasco with the German Apple Pancake a few weeks before, I wanted something that seemed a little more fool-proof.
Cardamom is one of my (underused) favorite spices, and so I’ve wanted to make Cardamom-Crumb Coffee Cake for a while. First you make a crumb topping for the batter. They say to do it in a food processor – I opted to use my Magic Bullet instead. This was a mistake, and I would have realized it if I hadn’t been in a hurry to get the cake in the oven. The food processor, with a broader base, would have had enough room to spin the butter and the other ingredients together, while the Magic Bullet, with its small base, just clumped everything together. I really wish I had used my pastry cutter instead, particularly since I had to dump everything in a bowl to combine more oats and walnuts into the crumb. That’s when I actually got everything mixed together, in any case.
The batter – I mixed the dry ingredients together first. Instead of mixing the wet ingredients together in another bowl (I hate using 3 large-ish bowls for a single recipe!), I dumped the brown sugar and wet ingredients in the center, mixed them together roughly, and stirred them into the flour mixture. I’m sure there’s a reason for mixing together the wet ingredients first, but my method worked fine in this recipe, since the wet ingredients didn’t need to be aerated or anything like that.
I didn’t have buttermilk, so I soured milk with lemon juice (as per recipe instructions). I added a little extra cardamom because I know mine is a little old. I got too much batter in the bottom of the pan, since I had a little too little batter to spread over the center layer of crumb.
This was gorgeous when it came out of the oven. For some reason, I had to bake it 45 minutes to get the toothpick to come out clean, rather than the 35-40 they suggest. I may have to pay more attention to baking times with this pan, because I can’t think of any other reason why it should have taken longer.
This cake is pretty hearty. I’ve got two pieces on my plate above, and usually I’ll eat that and want seconds, but with this I was full after a piece and a half. It’s nice to have a 300-calorie serving of coffee cake actually feel filling. It is tasty but a little wheat-y. I’m not sure what kind of whole-wheat flour I have, but I will look for the white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour when I buy more. I couldn’t distinctly taste the cardamom, and I’m not sure if it’s because it blends into the wheat or if my cardamom simply tastes weak because it’s old. [February 21: I could taste the cardamom better when I had the leftovers for breakfast this morning.]
I would like to try this again with freshly ground or freshly purchased cardamom. I might also try a combination of whole-wheat and white flours if I wanted it to have a less healthy-hearty taste. I do think this recipe would be a good base for other healthy coffee cakes, preferably with fruit.