This morning: Almond-Blueberry Coffeecake. Sigh. I think she is beautiful.
I made it this morning in honor of my dear friend visiting from Southern California. I love visitors, not only because I usually like the people themselves, quite a bit really, but also because I get a thrill out of playing hostess. Especially with mornings. Dinners usually intimidate me. We've been over this before. I don't do well at night; I am usually burned out by seven; and many people like to eat meat, and I am no meat specialist. (I'm a one pot dinner kind of person. I love soups and stews, curries over rice, burritos, funky salads, and kitchen-sink kugels, not meat, veggie, starch--its too multi-tasky for my scattered sensibility.)
In fact, this morning's baking and talking with my guest reminded me of a silly childhood dream to have my own bed and breakfast. That was always it growing up, that was what I thought would be the best thing on earth to do--have a bed and breakfast. I liked the idea of cooking for a few people at specified times on my own terms. I liked that I would have to have a beautiful place to live and that there would be a rhythm. And now, although that sounds like a lot of work, I still like the idea. Think of the fun food to feed people! The coffee cakes I would make. I would feed them real milk! Raw cheese! Homemade pickled beets!
It must mean something that I am moved to put exclamation points after 'pickled beets'. Anyone know of a really cheap plot of land for sale with a really ugly (but could be gorgeous) house on it? In the foothills of California? Just checking.
Back to the cake itself. It is lacy on top with almond and sugar. Its middle is a mystery, like an almond-custard-macaroon married a cake. I just call it a coffee cake, but this has created a little tension.
My father-in-law has no other name to offer, but he said to call it 'cake' was to invite confusion when one tasted it. This would not have occurred to me, as I am used to doing odd things to cake (that many times do not turn out well) and so have a broad (possibly too broad) definition in my mind for what constitutes 'cake'.
For those looking for a really weird cake recipe then, don't get too excited. Look at the ingredients. I mean no disrespect to my favorite father-in-law, but I still call this one a cake. It just happens to be the most moist, almondy, and, as I have said, macaroon-like cake I've ever made.
Almond-Blueberry Coffeecake (inspired by Clotilde's many yogurt cakes)
Maybe everyone already knows this rule, but I'll say it anyway because I never thought about it until today: do not refrigerate. Definitely do not serve cold. It ruins the texture.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole almond flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
3 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line a nine inch spring-form pan. Mix flour, soda, salt, powder, and 2/3 cups of the almond flour in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each. Beat in vanilla and yogurt. Fold in dry mixture until all is moistened. Fold in blueberries. Finish the cake with an even sprinkling of the remaining almond flour. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in pan for another 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge, remove from form, and cool on a wire rack. Serve after another 10 minutes, or cool completely.
*Blend two cups almonds with a quarter cup of sugar in a food processor or blender until mostly fine. Measure accordingly and save extra for sneaking into other cookies, cakes, and custards.