Friday, September 30, 2011
Café Beaujolais Coffee Cake
Many years ago, if you found yourself wandering the mesmerizing landscape along the Mendocino Coast high among the cliffs and gorgeous waves, you’d probably run into a cozy little restaurant called Café Beaujolais. With a stunningly expansive coastline that seems to go on forever, Mendocino is most certainly a place to go to rest and be comforted. That version of Café Beaujolais is gone now but some of its recipes are still with us.
One of the things that made Café Beaujolais a destination was their coffee cake. As coffee cakes go, this one is as soothing as Mendocino itself. It's got a great texture with moist and spicy crumbs, lots of crumbs. It’s the kind of coffee cake that has you pressing your fingers against your plate until every last morsel is gone, chased down with your final sip of very strong piping hot coffee.
As you can see from the very brief instructions, this is a very easy pastry to prepare. File it away in case you have a spontaneous need or desire for a quick surprise for brunch or a meeting where you’d like to lend a touch of warmth and friendship.
- The finished cake is only about 1” tall, so the servings are fairly modest. I haven’t tried baking it in a smaller pan for a taller cake.
- The recipe calls for corn oil, which I think is an artifact of the times. I used canola oil.
- This is a delicious cake. My personal preference is another recipe from Margaret Fox, which I posted as the Mendocino Coffee Cake. I love that streusel with its combination of espresso powder, cinnamon, cocoa and walnuts.
Cafe Beaujolais' Buttermilk-Cinnamon Coffeecake
adapted from Margaret Fox in the Los Angeles Times
Makes about 10 - 12 servings
2 1/4 C flour
1 C brown sugar, packed
3/4 C sugar
2 t cinnamon, divided
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground ginger
3/4 C oil
1 C sliced almonds
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 C buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a 9" x 13" baking pan with butter.
Stir together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and ginger. Add oil and gently mix in. Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture to another bowl and combine with almonds and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon to form a streusel. Set aside.
To remaining flour mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, egg and buttermilk. Blend until smooth. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle reserved nut streusel evenly over surface of batter, pressing gently into the surface just a bit. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tests done. Place pan on wire rack to cool.