i remember in grade 3 going to my best friend's house and having a piece of coffee cake his mom had made that day and, in my child's mind, not understanding why there was no coffee in it! i also learned through my best friend's mother on that particular day of discovery that a coffee cake, à la north american, is one which is served with coffee and doesn't necessarily include it. what did i know? i was only 8 and interested in riding my bike & playing hide and seek with my gang of friends, after all!
the results of this recipe are interesting in that it gives you 3 different textures in one cake. the top layer is crumbly and sandy with toasted nuts, the middle has more of a spongy, pudding-like consistency due to the ingredients used to make that layer, and the bottom, a nice crunchy sweet base upon which the whole cake rests. it seems to taste even better the next day after a little rest — i remember this being made the night before. my favourite part was always the crunchy, sugary bottom layer.
to make this cake you really need turkish or greek coffee, finely ground to a powder. it may work with espresso; i have never tried it that way. it does not work with instant coffee. perhaps any strong coffee like a french roast can be substituted if it is prepared using the turkish grind wherever you have your coffee ground — ask for the finest grind [think powder].
this cake is different in that the wet and dry ingredients are not mixed together before baking to make a cake batter. instead, the wet is nestled in between the sandy dry mixture. note [caveat emptor] that the spongy layer may taste "funny" to you texturally at first as the cake is not mixed in the conventional way we imagine cakes to be made. rest assured, the cake all together as a whole really is great. please use parchment paper to make the job easy — the best part, no greasing involved with this great silicone paper!
turkish coffee cake
1/4 c + 1 tbsp butter or margarine, cut up
1/4 tsp salt [omit if using (semi) salted butter]
1 c flour
1 c white caster sugar
1 heaping tbsp turkish coffee
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c sour cream [not low fat!]
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c pecans or almonds, broken up
preheat oven to 35oF. cut 2 strips of parchment paper to line a small loaf pan and set aside. i cut one strip for the length of the pan and another for the width and layer one over the other. this is the easiest way to get the cake out of the pan without destroying it.
measure dry ingredients and place in a bowl. mix well. add the butter or margarine and with a pastry fork or tool, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is sandy. do not leave chunks of butter.
mix the egg with the sour cream in another small bowl. add the baking soda and mix again.
place half of the sandy flour mixture in the loaf pan. carefully spoon the sour cream mixture over this layer and then place the rest of the flour mixture over the sourcream, distributing it evenly. do not mix it together.
scatter the pecans over the top.
bake 45 minutes.
carefully remove from pan by the tabs of the parchment paper after letting cool in pan 10 - 15 minutes to set. enjoy with, what else? turkish coffee!