Country Morning Cake

IMG_3490Browsing through an old copy of Pillsbury’s “Breakfasts & Lunches” cookbook, I ran across a recipe for a cake with the wonderful name of “Country Morning Cake.” Visions of blue skies, fluffy clouds and birds singing came to mind. The cake was really a small coffee cake, rich with sour cream and layered with sugar and cinnamon.

IMG_3489Gathering the ingredients, I decided to “tweak” the recipe a bit, by substituting whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour, and adding in some chopped hazelnuts, just to make things more interesting.

3476xAll I can say is that it’s one of the best coffee cakes I have ever tasted, like a delicious cloud with layers of crunchy hazelnuts and sugar–a slice is like a strange snowdrift of sugar and deliciousness. So here is the recipe–hope you enjoy!

Country Morning Cake

IMG_34671/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dash of salt
handful of golden raisins

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 oz. bag of chopped hazelnuts (about 1/3 of a cup)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a round 8-inch Pyrex dish. If you use a metal cake pan, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream butter and 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy; beat in sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off. Add flour, baking soda and salt to creamed mixture; mix well. (There will not look like there is very much batter–that’s ok.) Spread a scant half of the batter in prepared pan; sprinkle with half of topping and scatter a handful of golden raisins over the topping. Spread remaining batter over the top. If it is sticky, moisten a large spoon and spread the batter with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle with remaining topping. For the Pyrex cake pan, bake for 40 to 45 minutes. For a metal pan, bake for 25 to 30 minutes. In either case, towards the end of the baking time, press the center of the cake to make sure it is done.

A confession: I made this twice. I made it Wednesday night and found that it was way underbaked using the Pyrex pan. I also found, that even underbaked it was incredibly delicious. I came home from work yesterday and made it again, baking it longer. Was it ok? I had to eat a slice to find out! OMG. This was one dangerous cake. Today, after photographing the above slices, and with no prospect of taking it work, I tossed it away, knowing that if I didn’t, I would never fit into my jeans again. Yes, I could have brought some over to the neighbors, but then they would never fit into their jeans again, either. Yes, I could have frozen it, but it would still be in the house, calling to me.  I would remember that some things, like Snickers bars, are good frozen, so I would not be out of harm’s way.  Have you ever known a cake this dangerous? At any rate, it will easily serve six to eight happy eaters!

3439xMeanwhile, a finch with real star quality–charisma, even–has appeared at the feeder. I will be keeping an eye out for him!

3447xIt’s still pretty cold here, and even the pansies have gotten nipped by frost.

3449xA few more pansies.

3460xSo I’ve  been staying indoors and photographing the alstroemerias.

3459xA few more.

IMG_3464And I’ve been starting seeds for Indigo Rose tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, and Principe Borghese cherry tomatoes. I see tomatoes in our future!

3455xOutside, in the cold, a river of puschkinia flows over some brick edging. They are related to scilla.

IMG_3492And, the scilla are appearing in azure pools.

To hear an oriole sing
May be a common thing
–Or only a divine.
Emily Dickinson

Hope your week is wonderful. Namaste. Fran

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