As I am writing this there is only one piece left of this delectable coffee cake. We had company over this morning and the six of us practically devoured it all. It took all the persuasion in the world to save this little piece for a photo opportunity. "Good" would be a small word to describe it...it brought silence to a table of people mighty hungry after a boating excursion.
I usually have a brioche ready for sunday brunches, either toasted with butter or turned into French toast, but I kept seeing coffee cakes popping on a couple of blogs and my stash of fresh cherries was demanding some attention, other than clafoutis or muffins.
I fell in love with coffee cakes a few months after moving to the US. What's not to love in a cake filled with spices or fruit and topped with shortbread crumbs? What's no to love in a cake so versatile that you can adapt it to the seasons ans have any time of the day? Made with coffee or served during coffee breaks, it seems to have taken a life of its own regarding ingredients much like creme brulee has its variations.
I figured that there was only a few authorities capable of giving me the "perfect" recipes, and I turned to our trusted Dorie Greenspan for ideas. I adapted her original recipes to fit the ingredients I wanted to use and since I am still on my coconut and cherry kick, well, here they are again!
Cherry and Coconut Coffee Cake, adapted from Dorie Greenspan
For the crumb topping:
5 Tb unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup almond, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Put all the ingredients, minus the nuts in a food processor and pulse until it forms coarse crumbs. Put into a bowl, sit in the nuts , cover and refrigerate while you prepare the cake.
For the cake:
2 cups, fresh pitted cherries (can use frozen, not thawed)
2 cups plus 2 tsp. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of one lemon
6 Tb. butter, room temp
1 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup grated unsweet coconut
Toss the cherries with 2 tsp. flour and set aside.
Combine the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and grated coconut together.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together with the lemon zest. Add the eggs, one at a time and add the coconut extract. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure it is all combined. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the the flour mixture and coconut milk alternately, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Gently stir in the cherries.
Pour the mixture in a 8x8 inch square baking dish lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Spread the top with the crumb topping.
Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes back clean.
I have to say that this is one cake I am looking forward to make on a weekly basis and adapt it to whatever I have in the fridge or pantry.
I hope it will make a nice addition to Rosa's Sunday Brunch Event .