Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blackberry Jam Streusel Coffee Cake

Jhan: Ah, the weekend! Finally I have the time to cook and eat something other than toast for breakfast. I really like omelets and scrambles for weekend breakfasts but every now and then I just want something sweet and fruity, that's when I bake a coffee cake. My favorite is this struesel coffee cake.

Coffee Cake & Coffee

The Food

I often add blueberries or some other fruit in the middle but if I'm out of fruit I just use jam (Blackberry or Boysenberry produce great results). I also prefer pecans to walnuts for the streusel. I like the rich toasty flavor of the pecans, sometimes roasted walnuts taste bitter to me. This recipe is super easy and fast - it can be ready to eat in about 35-40 minutes or you can bake it the night before and just heat it up in the morning. This is a great thing to serve house-guests, add some fresh fruit and coffee or tea for a nice light breakfast then head out for some sightseeing or shopping.

The recipe:
Preheat oven to 375, spray 9x9 square baking pan with a little cooking oil
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup canola oil
Mix dry ingredients together with a fork. Mix wet ingredients together and pour into dry ingredients. Stir well or beat for about a minute or until batter is fairly free of lumps.
(The batter may seem a little thin.) Pour about half of the batter into the pan, spread to cover bottom of pan. Next add fruit or jam. Spread chopped (well drained) fruit or berries - about 1 cup - over batter. Raisins or dried cranberries are also good - decrease to about 1/3-1/2 cup or if using jam, spoon 1/3 cup over the batter in bottom of pan. Add a sprinkling of the streusel over the fruit or jam. Pour the remaining batter over the fruit and streusel layer - try to completely cover the center layer. Sprinkle the remaining topping over the batter. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. (It's a good idea to check this cake after about 20 minutes.)

Streusel Topping
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 - 1/2 cup chopped pecans
2-3 tbsp s melted butter
Mix all together. It should be crumbly
This recipe was inspired by recipes found in Betty Crocker's Cookbook and the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.

The Photography

Coffee Cake & Coffee

Coffee Cake & Coffee Lighting
Yet another shot with three lights. Did I mention that I light the softness I get with more lights? I did? Really?? Side, ceiling bounce and wall bounce. About all you need to know.

More interesting to me was the set up, with the coffee cup, the place mat, the polka dotted plate and the silver fork. All these items were selected specifically for this shoot. I particularly like how the plate and place mat match colors.

This was a simple, quick shoot - the coffee was still warm when I finished.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. I like the angle of the final shot, the gradient focus on the top of the piece, the light on the fork (kind of a brushed metal tone), and that you used a corner piece of cake. ;-)