Friday, March 4, 2011

Cardamom Coffee Cake

Mm, butter. It makes everything better. With one pound of butter, the Cardamom Coffee Cake (page 158) is darn good. It probably should be called a pound cake, though—it is serious! Seriously delicious that is, with its hint of the unique spice cardamom, and its attractive double swirl of streusel. It’s moist and robust. Did I mention there's lots-o-butter?

Now I’m a firm believer that a coffee cake should be featured as an accompaniment to coffee, and not much more. The cakey (sometimes dry and bland) aspect doesn’t do much for me if it’s a side on a plateful of other breakfast foods. But enjoyed alone with a cup of joe (with room for cream) really does it wonders. There’s nothing bland or dry about this recipe, though. Mm, mm.

With no cardamom on hand, I swung by the bulk spices section at Freddy’s to get the stuff. What a genius way to shop for spices, let me say. Instead of spending eight dollars for a tiny jar, I got more than enough for my recipe: total bill $1.06.

It’s been windy here the last week or so…No, that doesn’t quite capture it, let me try again…our community hunkered down the past week in the face of blasting, icy Taku winds—siding’s been torn off buildings, trash cans bounce like balls down the street. They’re clocking gusts at 90mph at sea level, and over 150 on our mountain tops—isn’t that hurricane force? I’m sure the guy who was just rescued off the ice field is enjoying his coffee cake an extra notch these days. Winter roared its ugly head, the people in Juneau quivering in its breath. There. That captures it a bit better…And it was in the might of this weather that I baked up this slice of comfort, viewing the world from the inside-out, and making it all the more satisfying.

I used organic butter in this recipe. Creamed with sugar, vanilla and eggs, it's mixed in with dry ingredients and sour cream and layered in a bundt pan between sprinklings of streusel. Pretty simple. The Fiddlehead says they borrowed this recipe from a cafe in Vermont; there, they served the slices grilled in butter and drizzled with real maple syrup. Whoa. You've got to try this recipe. Make a breakfast date with your loved ones, brew a pot of coffee, and hunker down inside.

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