Ya know – I try not to be too bitchy about the weather. I do enjoy all four seasons, for the cycle of life that repeats each year, for the contrast, for the different ways we live in each part of the year.
We are in Upstate NY, and unless you are going to be miserable for about half of the year, you have to come to terms with cold, wintry, snowy weather in these parts. And I admit that the last few winters have been extraordinarily mild, lulling us into a sense that we lived in a more temperate zone than we actually do. In reality, our temperatures can range from the highest we have ever seen, which was 103º to the lowest we have ever seen which was -42º, and anything between those two numbers can be considered normal.
I do feel I must protest however, when it snows on the first day of Spring. I mean – really? Snow? Ugh!
There is only one way to deal with such a happenstance in my opinion, and that is with chocolate. Nothing else will even come close to soothing my abraded affections for the place where I live when it insists on snowing on the first day of spring. How fortunate then, that I was ready for the final version of this recipe which has made it’s way through blondies, scones, and finally coffee cake. I’ve been fooling with the flavor combination for the last few weeks, and the blondies and scones weren’t bad, mind you, so there is every chance I’ll revisit them at some point.
This coffee cake though – and it ain’t just the snow talking – is sublime!It is moist and rich, the way a coffee cake should be, and the cinnamon-chocolate flavor combo is enough to make you forget all about the blustery unpleasantness outside the kitchen.
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in cubes
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, well packed
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 ounces [1 & ½ sticks] softened butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar, well packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 & ½ cups Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Prepare a 9 or 10 in springform pan by buttering generously. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom, place in the bottom, and then butter that as well.
- In a small bowl, use a pastry cutter or two knives to combine all of the topping/filling ingredients except the chocolate, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- I the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Beat in the sugars until fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients alternately with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour: ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the yogurt, ⅓ of the flour, second half of the yogurt, final ⅓ of the flour.
- Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle with half of the chopped chocolate, followed by half of the topping filling mixture.
- Dot on the second half of the batter in smallish blobs which will make it easier to spread out evenly without disturbing the filling layer too much, and spread that evenly.
- Top with the remaining chocolate and the topping mixture.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, turning twice to ensure even baking. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out with just a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter - if you hit chocolate, try a different spot. If you want to be more precise, the internal temperature should be right around 200º.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use an offset spatula or table knife to loosen cake from sides of the pan, and unhook side ring, then remove it. You can probably just slide the cake onto a cooling rack - leave the parchment until it is a little cooler.
- This is best served warm, and can be reheated in tightly sealed foil, in the oven. [not the microwave - it will get soggy]
- You can mix up a glaze of 1 cup confectionery sugar and 2 -3 tablespoons of half & half and drizzle over right before serving. Or serve with whipped cream or a bit of soft butter.
I will warn you that if you live nearby and are as anxious for spring as I am, the effect doesn’t seem to last long, so you may need to medicate yourself at regular intervals, to stay in your happy place. I’ll see you there!