I am really lovingThe Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. I tried my second recipe from the book with, again, wonderful results. With my oldest son paying us an early morning visit to help us with some major chores, I thought a coffee cake was in order. I’d been eying this one during my near daily perusals of the book, so made it this morning. The interior is flavorful, dense, and moist; the topping is such a complex combination of flavors that your mouth won’t quite know what to think. Suffice it to say that we all enjoyed it.
Pecan-Chocolate-Espresso Coffee Cake
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup regular or low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, both sugars, butter and salt in the bowl of a hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer. Beat on low speed, then on medium speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture to a small bowl. Stir in the toasted pecans, chocolate and espresso powder to form the crumb topping.
Sprinkle the baking soda onto the remaining flour-butter-sugar mixture; add the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat on medium speed just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Set the pan on a cooling rack, and unmold when the cake has cooled.
MAKE AHEAD: The cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. 8 to 10 servings
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