We’ve been enjoying amazing berries here in SB lately. The booths at the farmers market always have the coolest arrangements of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I love all of the patterns and designs they set out on their tables. It’s just so pretty. I was inspired by all of this spring loveliness, so I decided to bake something involving berries.
Don’t ya just want to stroll among the abundance of fresh flowers and produce at the farmers market now? Me too. But instead I stocked up on berries at the beautifully arranged, colorful aisles of the famous Trader Joe’s. Cheap and easy! So I laid out all of the ingredients this morning and away I baked. And then the distractions started messing with me.
I don’t know about you, but I swear I am scatter brained on Sunday mornings. I love being in my pj’s, listening to music, dancing around the kitchen, talking to Happy (my dog); it’s just fun. However, all of this “fun” distracts me from reading recipes correctly. Here in lies my challenge every week… focus!
I actually managed to follow the recipe fairly well, but when I went to pour half of the batter into the bottom of the 9×9″ pan, I realized there would never have been enough batter. I was puzzled. I double checked: yes I used the correct amount of ingredients, and yes I had the right pan. But there was no way there would be enough batter to do as was directed.
So being the brilliant baker that I am (very sarcastic statement), I decided to use a loaf pan instead. Easy enough, solution found ~ I am amazing (there’s that sarcasm again!). I figured I’d have to adjust the baking time, so 30 minutes later out popped a gorgeous coffee cake in the shape of a loaf of bread.
Then I realized in a slight panic, “Oh crap! I was supposed to bake the streusel on top of the coffee cake!” This would incorporate it into the cake. So I quickly patted down brown, crumbly streusel (delicious by the way), threw the whole thing back into the oven, and prayed.
Once I flipped it over onto a plate, it actually didn’t look half bad. If I had followed the directions by baking the streusel into the cake, it would have been more cohesive. I should have lined the bottom of the loaf pan with the nutty crumble. But having said all that, Paul and I shared the first slice and it was pretty good.
As we were enjoying our berry deliciousness and I was starting to award myself with the “most flexible, quick thinking, ingenious baker” title, I noticed a blackberry dropped out of place. Upon further investigation I noticed the center of the coffee cake was completely raw. My fabulous title started to disappear into thin, sweet-smelling air.
Here is the moral of the story: read and follow the recipe carefully. And when it doesn’t look like it’s going to work, don’t be rash. Just stop and think (dear God I tell my students to do that all of the time, you’d think I’d take my own advice). If I had just very gentle folded the berries into the batter, and then poured it into the 9×9″ pan, topping it off with the streusel we’d have a very different blog this morning. I can just hear my little 3rd graders saying, “It’s okay Mrs. Darga. Everyone makes mistakes.”
Streusel Topped Triple Berry Coffee Cake (care of food.com)
INGREDIENTS: Batter ~ 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, 1⁄2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 large egg, 1⁄2 cup butter, melted, 1⁄2 cup milk, 2 cups berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, fresh or frozen), 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla, 1 dash cinnamon, generous. Topping ~ 1⁄2 cup brown sugar (packed), 3 tablespoons flour, 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1⁄4 cup walnuts, finely chopped, 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Stir liquids into dry ingredients just till blended. In a buttered 9-inch square pan, spread half of dough. Top with berry mixture and spoon remaining dough over berries. In a separate bowl combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts. Stir in melted butter until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Sprinkle this over top of dough and press in lightly. Bake in a 375° oven 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown.