Blueberry - Lemon Coffee Cake
Today Anna is competing as a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off! There's only ONE MILLION DOLLARS riding on it, no pressure! None at all. Just kidding. Results will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22. Sending good karma and positive energy your way, Anna!
In Anna's honor, I decided to try a recipe that she gave me. It's a Cooking Light recipe that she suggested I make to use up some almond paste that I had left over. Now, I am not the biggest of Cooking Light fans. There are some things I enjoy about the magazine, but I mostly don't cook from it. Here is an example of why:
The recipe calls for "2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces". Now, that is a fairly common thing, when you're making pie or other pastry dough, biscuits, scones, etc. Generally, you cut the cold butter (or other fat)into flour until you have small pea-sized pieces, which makes your pastry nice and flaky when it bakes.
But alas, this is a cake. A coffee cake, not that it matters, but it is a cake. With cakes (or cookies), you generally start with room temperature butter and "cream" it with the sugar until it is light and fluffy. However, the directions for this recipe say to take the cold butter, sugar, & almond paste and "beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended". Well, I'm sorry, but that just does NOT work. If someone can tell me why the recipe would say that, I would appreciate it. I do know that there is an ongoing discussion by magazine and cookbook authors whether to dumb-down recipes for beginner cooks, by eliminating common terms like "cream", "saute", and "sweat". But that's another subject.
After I gave up trying to blend the cold butter with the sugar and almond paste, I left it to warm up a little. After that, everything went smoothly, and the resulting coffee cake is delicious. I especially love the topping of almonds, sugar, and cinnamon.