March 09, 2010
I've been in a little bit of a blogging rut lately. You see, I'm not really a writer -- far from it, actually. I was supposed to be in the MENU program at college (Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates...yeah, don't judge) before I almost flunked out of my first math class freshman year. As my dad always told me, "When it comes to mathematical theory, sometimes you just hit that brick wall and can't get around it. Not too much you can do about that." Which is apparently very true. So I chose to study economics instead, and spent 4 exciting years buried in problem sets. Math to econ -- I'm quite the rebel, eh? ;) Anyway, I think I wrote about 3 essays my entire college career. Which is why it's actually pretty funny that I have a blog.
So what happens when you lose your (made up) writing mojo? Get back to the basics, and I mean basics of all sorts. I always get a little nostalgic when I make this coffee cake because it's one of my very first "baking experiments" growing up. It was around high school when I made this for a good friend's potluck party. What were we doing having potlucks as teenagers?? I have no idea. But apparently we were already old-at-heart back then...
This four (does jam count?) -- ok three -- layer coffee cake is one of my favorites. The bottom cake layer is flavored with almond extract and sour cream, which gives the spongy cake a refreshingly bold taste. Next is the cream cheese filling, which provides a very creamy and moist contrast to the cake. And then finally a thin layer of raspberry jam, followed by a wonderfully sweet and buttery almond crumb topping. This is always a crowd pleaser, and best of all, it's easy! I mean, if I made this in high school almost a decade (gulp!) ago, it's gotta be fairly basic.
Anyway, sorry for the lack of photos. I've also seemed to lose my picture-taking mojo as well. Hopefully, I'll see an uptick in both of these sometime soon...
Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Recipe dug up from my mom's cooking files
2 1/4 C flour
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C butter
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 C sour cream
1 t almond extract
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C raspberry jam or preserves
1/2 C sliced almonds
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour and 3/4 C sugar. Mix well. With 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 C crumb mixture.
To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, sour cream, almond extract and egg. Blen well. Spread batter over bottom and 2 inches up sides (about 1/4 inch thick) of greased and floured pan.
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/4 C sugar and 1 egg. Blend well. Pour into bater lined pan. Carefully spoon jam evenly over cream cheese mixture.
In a small bowl, combine served crumb mixture and sliced almonds. Sprinkle over layer of raspberry preserves.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until cream cheese filling is set and crust is lightly browned. Cool 15 minutes and remove sides of pan.