It’s that time of year when family starts to descend on you for the holidays. Aunt Sue and Uncle Bernie and their 3 kids will be staying with you, and this year they are bringing the family dog Apollo, as he gets lonely in the kennel. Your mother-in-law and her new boyfriend are off for some sun and fun in Dubai, so they will be arriving before Christmas to visit and exchange gifts. Then of course there is the stress of shopping for gifts (who wears what, what size are they this year, what is that color they absolutely refuse to wear) and decorating the house (yes that does mean the roof too), all of which can drive a person into overload, then stress and anxiety build to a crescendo and you want to explode.
~~ Champagne or coffee cake, champagne or coffee cake, champagne, or……… (photo courtesy of Google).
You could stop and take a bubble bath with a little bubbly on the side, or you could kick back, grab a latte, and enjoy a piece of cinnamon-laden streusel coffee cake that is dripping with chocolate ganache icing and guaranteed to replace the fizzle with some sizzle! And watch a good old-fashioned holiday movie.
Double the recipe and freeze the second one to serve on Christmas morning. The ganache icing (only two ingredients), can be divided in half and store 1/2 in a jar in the refrigerator – will easily keep for two weeks.
Who can resist this? I know I can’t – can smell that cinnamon streusel topping already!
~ Getting started with the basics, flour, eggs, salt, milk, baking powder – Mix with a whisk.
~~ Add first layer of cake batter into dish – I use a Quiche dish as I like the cake to be dense and compact.
~~ First layer of cinnamon streusel added on top of batter.
~~ Now add 2nd layer of batter over the streusel – this is when you try the raw batter – Yum!
~~ Second layer of streusel added on top of the batter – ready for oven.
Here is where you kick-back and put on a classic holiday movie – try Christmas in Connecticut from 1945 with Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan – funny and cute!
~~ Streusel coffee cake fresh out of the oven – onto cooling rack!
~~ – First piece cut – can sometimes be tricky. Once cooled a bit, top with the Ganache Icing.
Ingredients:GANACHE ICING: 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate 1/2 cup heavy cream COFFEE CAKE: 3 1/2 cups flour (sifted) 2/3 cup melted butter 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 Tbl vanilla extract 1/2 cup sour cream 3 eggs 1 1/4 whole cup milk STREUSEL: 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup flour 3/4 Tbl ground cinnamon Pinch of salt 5 Tbl melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Ganache: You start with the ganache icing as it needs to cool before adding to the coffee cake. Chop up the chocolate pieces and add to bowl. Heat on stove or microwave the heavy cream till it comes to a boil. Gently pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces and mix with wooden spoon till dark, smooth, and creamy. Let it sit out on counter for about 15 minutes, stir one more time, and then chill for an hour.
- In large mixing bowl, add both white and brown sugar,flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Mix using a wire whisk.
- Add eggs and whisk. I drop them one at a time and whisk after each egg.
- Pour in the milk and sour cream. Whisk for a minute – batter will be lumpy (that’s okay).
- Butter a Quiche dish or other baking pan. Pour 1/2 batter into the pan and spread towards the edges.
- Streusel: Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix with fork. Top the first layer of batter with streusel mixture.
- Add second half of batter on top of streusel and smooth out towards edges.
- Add second layer of streusel on top.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes – test with toothpick or knife – if it comes out clean the coffee cake is done.
- Ladle some of the Ganace Icing over the top of the coffee cake and serve.
Yield: Makes 8-10 slices depending on size
Points of Interest:
If serving for Christmas Brunch keep recipe as above, but you can also add some sour cream or creme fraiche on the side.
If using as a dessert after dinner, serve whipped cream on top and serve with a glass of pink champagne.
If you want to skip the Ganace Icing, you can add toasted chopped walnut pieces on top (toast before adding to the streusel).
If feeling terribly decadent do all of the above at one time!