Made-with-Coffee Coffee Cake

If you knew me back in college, this cake may look familiar to you. It was one of my most requested baked goods, and it was on the short list of things I baked at the time. Until last month, I had always made this cake with instant coffee – it’s what the original recipe called for, and it gave the cake its coffee flavor without hassle.

Now, this coffee cake is different from all the ones I’ve made in the past. This one is made with Bolivia Fair Trade Organic coffee from the Coffee Foundry. When helping Norm and Wilson for the Bloggers’ Coffee Cupping Event last month, I knew this was the perfect cake to offer at the event since it incorporate both loves of coffee and cake.

The main thing I modified to make this cake with real coffee was replacing the regular yogurt with Greek yogurt. I mixed the brewed coffee into the Greek yogurt, creating a coffee yogurt to bake with. Pecans and chocolate chips are optional in this recipe, but they add nice texture to this moist coffee cake.

Thanks again to all the bloggers that came out to the event last month, and for those who asked for the recipe, here you go!

Made-with-Coffee Coffee Cake
adapted from previous recipe

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons instant coffee (optional – I added this for extra coffee flavor)
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup strongly brewed Bolivian coffee
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 8″x8″ pan, dust with 2 teaspoons flour.
3. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and optional instant coffee in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. Fold in strongly brewed coffee into Greek yogurt until well mixed.
5. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and granulated sugar.
6. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Then add in coffee yogurt and vanilla.
7. Add flour, baking soda, salt, mixing just until flour disappears. Fold in optional pecans and chocolate chips if desired.
8. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan, and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar mixture. Carefully spoon remaining batter over brown sugar mixture, and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture.
8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Bloggers’ Cupping Event at The Coffee Foundry

I know I already mentioned it the other week, but I’ll say it again. I’m proud to be friends with coffee geeks Norm and Wilson, and I want others to know what they’re doing at The Coffee Foundry is very cool.

A couple Saturdays ago, Esther of Ambitious Deliciousness and I held a Bloggers’ Cupping Event at The Coffee Foundry to do just that. We invited a few bloggers to come out and experience what coffee cupping is all about. What happened exactly? Norm led us through a sensory journey as we sniffed and sipped their coffee in different stages it went through from bean to drink.

I had the pleasure of supplying breakfast for the event, which included pumpkin cardamom scones, pecan coffee cake, Greek yogurt parfaits, and fruit salad. Visit back because I’ll be posting the scone and coffee cake recipes!

During the cupping, we tasted a Brazilian Cerrado and an Ethiopia Sidamo and were asked to describe the aroma, acidity, body, flavor and finish in terms like carbony/nippy/fat/rough. Luckily we were supplied with a whole glossary of terms to choose from (because I wouldn’t normally describe the taste of coffee as nippy or fat), and those terms were just among dozens of others.

We learned about all that goes into the science of brewing coffee well. New to me was the fact that ground coffee blooms when hot water is poured over just as it should if the grounds are fresh. Also, speaking to freshness of coffee, Norm taught us about the Rule of 15. The Rule of 15 refers to three rules about coffee:

1) Green coffee should be roasted within 15 months of harvest, or it goes stale.
2) Roasted coffee should be ground within 15 days of roasting, or it goes stale.
3) Ground coffee should be brewed within 15 minutes of grinding, or it goes stale.

Coffee geeks might already know that rule, but it was new to me. I think I can speak for most of the attendees that we all learned a significant amount about coffee last Saturday. It’s easy to overlook the complexity it can take to arrive at your daily cup of coffee, so participating in a coffee cupping was a refreshing way to understand the precision (and balance of art and science) in making a good cuppa joe.

The Coffee Foundry is having special promotion for blog readers! Get $1 off any beverage when you mention “Foundry Coffee Cupping” upon ordering. This promotion is good until April 15, 2011. And if you’re interested in participating in future cupping events, either comment below or send me a quick email.

And a big thanks goes to Albert Cheung Photography for supplying the photography for this post!