Sunday, June 7, 2015

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I heard on the radio station the other day that it was National Donut day. I do like donuts quite a bit, but I feel that they could incorporate some fresh fruit into the flavors.  Jelly filled is actually fruit gel, not big chunks of fresh fruit. Donut makers should split a donut and fill it with fresh fruit once in a while, I think it would catch on.  I would definitely be a patron at that donut shop.

That brings me to this particular recipe. It has a blend of fresh fruit, cream cheese and almonds layered on top of sweet cake. The original recipe called for blueberries, but I decided that with almonds and cream cheese, strawberries is a better flavor match.

This breakfast treat is one that never got out of the house. Most of my desserts are brought to the work place or given to the neighbors. It is only test tasted with one serving before moving on.  However, my husband wanted this one for our household and he managed to make it disappear in a few days.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
adapted from Best Recipes from Country Inns and Bed and Breakfasts

1 cup fresh fruit (any type of summer fruit, with the exception of citrus, chopped if bigger than blueberries)
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 plus 1 eggs
1/4 cup apple juice
6 oz cream cheese
2 tsp water
1/2 cup butter
3/4 plus 1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp cornstarch

Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a small saucepan with fruit and apple juice. Let come to a boil and then reduce heat and stir.  Simmer on low for about 3 minutes. Add the water and sift in the cornstarch.  Stir again and let simmer. The liquid should thicken up and reduce in a short amount of time. When ready, your saucepan contents should measure about a cup of the fruit/cornstarch mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare a food processor for use. Fill the processor bowl with 3/4 cup of sugar and flour. Then cut the butter into cubes and drop into bowl. Process until mixture resembles sandy coarse crumbs. Empty contents into large bowl.  Remove one cup of mixture and place in another bowl for a different use.

Sift together baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold into sugar mixture until distributed evenly.  In a separate bowl, place 2 eggs and the almond extract and whisk together. Add the yogurt and whisk again to blend. Pour into the flour/sugar batter and stir. Once blended, empty contents into prepared springform pan. The batter will be a bit sticky, but flatten on the bottom of pan and bring up the sides about a 1/4 of an inch. There should be a little bit of a well from the dough sides going down to the bottom of the dough.

Take out a medium size bowl and beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar and remaining egg until smooth. Fill the well of the dough with the cream cheese mixture and smooth the top. Then spread fruit mixture over top of cream cheese. Find the reserved crumb mixture and stir in sliced almonds. Sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake, making sure it is covered to the edge evenly.

Place in oven and bake until golden brown. This will take about 45 minutes and filling will be set when done. Cool in pan 15 minutes then remove the outer ring of the springform pan.

Tips and Notes:

1. Because of their size, blueberries yield more volume in a cup than chopped strawberries. Next time, I will up the amount of strawberries. The 1 cup turned out to be a little sparse on top.

2. Another good flavor match since this has almonds would be cherries.

3. Be careful when adding ingredients, the eggs as well as the sugar are used in 2 different components so they need to be added separately.

4. The instructions are to spread fruit over cream cheese.  Just to insure that you are not mixing the layers, it is better to drop by spoonfuls.
                         **LAST YEAR:Chocolate Almond Marsala Cookies**