Cocoa Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Well, I survived my first week of teaching 8th grade, and honestly, it was easier than I thought it would be. Part of me is still in shock that I was actually able to land a teaching job, especially given the fact that California still hasn’t passed a budget and there were thousands of teachers laid off at the end of last year.
But somehow, I scored this amazing job at a truly AWESOME school and I’m loving it!

I also survived a week with spotty electricity. There were record-breaking high temperatures all over the Bay Area last week, and possibly due to that, we ended up losing power. Eventually the neighborhood got their electricity back, but we didn’t. Although they hooked us up to a generator for a few hours a day, our street was crawling with electric company trucks and our building didn’t get power until a few days later. Now that we’re living with an electric stove and oven (not my first choice, but that’s life), it meant a longer-than-I-would-have-liked hiatus from baking and cooking. But last night, as soon as the lights came back on, I
pre-heated my oven and got this coffee cake going.

I’ve made this before and it’s always a crowd pleaser. It’s got great chocolate flavor, and how can anyone resist streusel topping with pecans and chocolate mixed in? The recipe in the book calls for mini chocolate chips, but I always buy the normal ones and roughly chop them. If you have a 13 x 9 x 3 inch pan, you can bake it all in a single pan with no problems, but because my pan is shallower, it works best for me to do a 13 x 9 pan plus 6 muffins. Watch the cake carefully because the streusel can burn quickly. About 55 minutes at 350 should work well, but ovens vary, so keep an eye on it! (Muffins will take closer to 25 minutes)

Recipe:
(adapted from Baking By Flavor by Lisa Yockelson)

cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups roughly chopped chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sour cream (reduced fat is fine)

streusel
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
pinch salt
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup roughly chopped chocolate chips

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 13 x 9 x 3 inch pan (or a shallower pan, plus line 6 muffin cups).
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium for about 3 minutes. Beat in the granulated sugar one cup at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about a minute after adding each egg. Mix in the vanilla extract.

Add the sifted flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, mixing on low speed and scraping in between. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into the pan(s).

To make the streusel, mix the flour, sugars, and salt together with a fork. Add the butter and blend with a pastry blender until it looks like small pebbles. Toss in the chocolate and pecans, and work between your fingers until evenly mixed.

Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cake and muffins. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comesoujt clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into squares to serve.

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