Boston is one of my favorite American cities. I love Boston's gorgeous architecture, cobblestone roads, the smell of the sea.... Having visited Boston a few times, I've also noticed that people in Boston are really nice. If you pull out a map from your pocket because you are lost, a stranger will probably stop to see if you need help. I am always a little surprised when this happens in a big city because usually city people have no time for tourists. I know this because I am a city person, and I often have no time for tourists who seem to always catch me at the wrong moment (sorry!).
Montreal is a little like Boston in its old world charm, which could be why I love Boston so much. Boston is also home to Flour bakery, with its chalkboard menus, fantastic sandwiches, and comforting baked goods, all "made with love!". Flour bakery reminds me a lot of Montreal's Olive et Gourmando.
The old-fashioned sour cream coffee cake from Flour bakery is unbelievable. I have no idea what makes it so good (besides that it's made with love). It's moist, a little dense, with a fantastic crumb. It's unbelievably good. I'd eat it all day long if I could.
Abby Dodge's baketogether for this month conveniently was a coffee cake, feeding my hunger for a good coffeecake. Abby's coffee cake is much lighter and spongier than the coffee cake at Flour bakery. The cake batter is sweetened with light brown sugar, while the streusel is made with dark brown sugar for a much more pronounced molasses flavor.
The best part of coffee cake is the deliciously crumbly streusel topping. Of course, the problem with coffee cake is also the deliciously crumby streusel topping. One false move and there are crumbs everywhere. I made this coffee cake twice, and the first time, I spilled half the streusel topping on the floor while I was mixing it together. It was tragic, but kind of funny because there was streusel everywhere and I unfortunately had just vacuumed. And when I was eating a square of it the next day, my hunk of cake fell over on my plate, spraying streusel crumbs all over the sofa and carpet, and even down the sleeve of my sweater. I suggest you make a coffee cake and indulge in a piece with a cup of tea before you vacuum the house, and if you can, consume it before you shower and do your laundry for the week! These are my words of wisdom.
This coffee cake is light, moist and comforting. I made the streusel topping from a graham flour mixture that is a little nutty from the wheat germ and whole wheat flour, so it goes perfectly with the thin layer of sliced tart apples just below it.
Okay, this cake is not quite like the coffee cake at Flour bakery. Guess I'll just have to go visit Boston again sometime soon...
Apple graham coffee cake
Makes one 9x9-inch coffee cake
- 50 grams all-purpose flour
- 30 grams whole wheat flour
- 10 grams wheat germ
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 130 grams dark brown sugar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 250 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 115 grams (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 250 grams light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 250 mL (1 cup) sour cream (full-fat)
- 1 apple (such as Cortland), peeled, cored and sliced thin
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a 9x9x2-inch pan by greasing and flouring it. Set aside for later.
- With a fork, stir together all the streusel ingredients in a small bowl. Continue mixing until the streusel clumps a little and all the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside for later.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the light brown sugar. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed between each addition.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Give the cake batter a couple stirs with your spatula to be sure all the ingredients have been evenly incorporated and the batter is smooth.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan.
- Top with a layer of the thinly sliced apple. Press them down gently.
- Sprinkle the prepared streusel topping over the apples. Press the streusel down gently.
- Bake the coffee cake for 40–50 minutes, checking it with a cake tester to be sure it is done.
- Let the coffee cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before serving.