Saturday, March 20, 2010

Celebrating Spring with Fresh Coffee Cake

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Spring has sprung early at Lake Tahoe. I'm feeling it in the air. The snow is almost gone on my deck. And I even saw a real rabbit--yes a pre-Easter bunny--scamper across the front yard. Today's chores included raking pine needles, tossing out old pine cones, cleaning the pantry, pans and fridge, decluttering, and adding feng shui in the kitchen for the change of seasons. And there's more...
Surprise! A new project has been assigned to me this spring and is now in the works! I've penned The Healing Powers of Vinegar (now in second edition, 13th printing), Olive Oil, Chocolate--and last week I got the news that a super food I chose--and fresh book--is going to be included in the Healing Powers series. I'm excited to discover another healing food world.
I am getting ready to continue my working dog duties. That means it's time to start my researching both at home and out in the field. So to celebrate I want to have a nice, light, spring-ish breakfast tomorrow morning. What better way to do that than with a semi-homemade coffee cake, garnished with strawberries, and a cup of coffee.
This time I'm using a failproof store bought box mix for the cake part (sort of like my mom used when I was a kid). However, this is new, improved and with a 21st century update healthful spin to it, and some of my own natural ingredients, too.

Springtime Coffee Cake
* * *
2 cups wheat all purpose pancake and baking mix
2/3 cup 2% low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup 2% low-fat organic milk
1 brown egg
2 tablespoons sugar

Streusel Topping
* * *
1/2 cup wheat all purpose pancake and baking mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons European style butter
1/8 cup each of walnuts and almonds, sliced

Combine dry ingredients. Mix streusel in another bowl. Spread batter in a 9" round cake pan. Top with streusel. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or till golden brown. Cool. Drizzle with a mixture of 1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup 2% low-fat organic milk, and 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract. (It adds a nice, sweet touch and taste.)
* * *
While I am an autumn girl at heart, I'm getting in the swing of spring. There are some pros, including no black ice, spring cleaning, a sense of renewal, wearing jeans 'n' T-shirts, it'll be off-season soon (less tourists, more town), and vivid images are playing in my mind of relocating to the outskirts of Reno for a warm, different change. The idea of a remote desert mountain environment with a ranch-style home paired with a gourmet kitchen sounds yummy.
BTW: I tried another coffee cake recipe last weekend. Two times it flopped. My dear friend and veteran baker-ess suggested I get it right. So I attempted whipping up an old-fashioned coffee cake with a grown-up twist and kept my fingers crossed. Third time is a charm, as they say. Mom does know best--even though I added a few touches of my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment