Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sour Cream-Pecan Coffee Cake

Hello, June! The 100 degree weather outside is a sad reminder that Spring is already over. May flew by so quickly, that I had little time to document my culinary adventures. But here's a quick photo tour:

My first attempt at cake-pops for a co-worker's farewell party:
cake pops
Vanilla cake with dark chocolate and sprinkles. I also made red velvet cake with white chocolate. Tutorial here. The balls are on wooden skewers that I stuck into blocks of styrofoam (recycling!), and surrounded with greenery from my front yard.

End of the World Taco Party!
(judgment) Taco day preparations
I may have made a little much food for this party ... that'll have to be a separate post.

And lots of brunches:
Brunch: I'll be eating that, thanks.Brunch: I didn't know you could do that to eggs.
Lemon Rolls, Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms, Sour Cream-Pecan Coffee Cake

The coffee cake comes from a book titled Breakfast and Nine, Tea at Four. Naturally, I bought the book just based off of the title. Actually, I convinced my Dad to buy book for me by promising to make this coffee cake -- the first recipe I saw when I opened the book. I highly recommend making it for your Dad for Fathers Day!

Sour Cream-Pecan Coffee Cake

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup softened butter, plus 2 tablespoons diced butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
2. Combine chopped pecans, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Spoon two tablespoons of this mixture into the greased bundt pan.
3. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until cream. Add remaining sugar and brown sugar slowly, mixing until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat on medium low until thoroughly combined, but be careful not to over-mix. Gently stir in the vanilla.
6. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan. It'll be very thick and heavy, so it is helpful to drop it by large spoon fulls into the bottom of the pan. You can use a slightly wet spatula to flatten the drops down and push them together. Sprinkle half of the remaining pecan/sugar mixture over the first layer of batter. Repeat with the remaining batter and pecan mixture. Top with diced butter.
7. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (be careful not to stick it into the middle pecan layer, which will be sticky). Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and turn out onto a plate. It's easy to lose the top layer of batter in this step, so make sure your cake is pretty loose before you turn it out. But you can always stick it back together, or drizzle a glaze over the top if it falls apart!

Serve warm or at room temperature.