A few weeks ago, I wanted to make a coffee cake. For the past few years, I have been making the “Choco Coffee Cake” on page 149 of the Company’s Coming Muffins & More by Jean Paré. Alas, this was one of those rare occasions when I didn’t have any sour cream in the fridge. I pulled out the family favourite Coffee Cake recipe from an old cookbook I got from my grandma called Cooking The Co-op Way (1959), but that recipe called for shortening and I haven’t bought that in years!
I looked through a few more cookbooks and on line but anything that sounded tasty called for shortening or sour cream and I wasn’t going grocery shopping for a couple of more days. What to do? I guess I could have made something else, but I really wanted a chocolate coffee cake - so I decided to experiment and create my own new recipe. I compared ingredients and quantities in a handful of recipes, made some notes and rough calculations – then crossed my fingers and hoped my creation would turn out!
Not all of my creations have turned out good on the first try. Some have taken several attempts before I’m happy with the results, but I got lucky with this one! A couple of my friends have tasted this and assured me that this is awesome – a real keeper! So here it is for you to try:
Choco Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons margarine
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
¼ cup finely chopped almonds
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup margarine
½ cup mini chocolate chips
½ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8” round or square pan with cooking spray such as Pam and set aside.
Topping: Combine first four ingredients and cut in margarine. Mix till crumbly. Stir in the chips and nuts then set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
Cake: Combine the first eight cake ingredients and then cut in the margarine. Mix until it resembles a fine crumb like mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Add the egg and milk and mix thoroughly. Batter will be stiff. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Spread the topping mixture evenly over the batter and lightly press into the batter.
Bake for 30 minutes or until it tests done using the toothpick method. Cool on a wire rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Serves 8.
Ever have trouble measuring small amounts of margarine? Here is a simple method that I’ve been using for years:
Most cakes are generally made in a round pan, but cutting the pieces evenly isn’t always easy. I almost always use a square pan for baking and have figured out a simple way to cut it so that everyone gets an equal size portion – and an edge piece. The triangular pieces aren’t quite the same shape everyone expects but its the taste that really counts! Here is the method I use: