Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cafe Beaujolais Coffeecake

First, let me say that with all the recipes out there on the net and in cookbooks, most of the best recipes are from home cooks that are food writers.  The so called "restaurant recipes" that come from chefs that are floating around the internet may have issues.  I understand that a guest appearance on Martha Stewart probably would not prompt any chef or baker to give up their special recipe so it can be published on the net, especially if that item is what actually made them famous.  Chefs and bakers are in the business to make and sell food but a food writer is in the business to create recipes to publish so you will buy their book. 

The recipe listed below was found on the LA times website in the food section, supported by the staffers as one of the best recipes. I surfed the net and found many people that had good luck with the recipe, so I decided to move forward with baking and posting this coffeecake recipe. It was a good decision, the cake turned out very rich and delicious-perfect with tea or coffee.

The restaurant where the recipe originated is located in Mendocino, California.  Even though this item is not on their menu today, they do have a list of breads that you can order on line.

Now on to the specifics of the recipe...One of the things you might notice from the picture above, is that the cake is not thick and airy.  The height is about like a bar cookie.  The buttermilk and oil make the cake very moist.

Cafe Beaujolais Buttermilk Cinnamon Coffee Cake
adapted from the LA Times


2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon (separated)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup corn oil
1 cup nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts or a combination)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg  (beaten)
1 cup buttermilk
First, butter a 9X13 inch pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown and granulated sugar, salt, ginger and 1 tsp of the cinnamon.  Blend in the oil with a wooden spoon, it should end up crumbly- like streusel. Then put 3/4 cup of this mixture into another bowl and add the nuts and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon to the 3/4 cup and set aside.

Back to the large bowl of the remaining flour you will add the last 4 ingredients listed above ( baking powder, baking soda, egg and buttermilk.  Blend with wooden spoon until smooth and the consistency of pancake batter.  Pour batter into pan and then sprinkle nut mixture evenly on top of batter.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  For my oven, 38 minutes was fine.  Once baked, pull pan out and put on wire rack to cool.  Once cooled cut into squares to serve.

This is an easy recipe with readily available ingredients for the average home baker.  However, should you be looking for a lower fat variation of this recipe and do not mind scouting for specialty ingredients, you can go here.