Sunday brunch is a tradition for many families. Though some families may enjoy Sunday brunch at a nearby restaurant, those who enjoy spending their Sunday mornings lounging at home can still enjoy a bountiful brunch that includes some popular staples of restaurant brunches. Therefore, when hosting your next Sunday brunch for family and friends, consider the following recipe for “Espresso-Scented Coffee Cake” from Betty Rosbottom’s Sunday Brunch (Chronicle Books).
Espresso-Scented Coffee Cake
Serves 8 to 10
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced, plus more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Creamy Espresso Glaze (see below)
1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a springform pan and then cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Place the paper in the pan and then butter the paper. Butter the sides and bottom of a ramekin and place, right-side up, in the center of the pan.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the diced butter and rub the mixture between your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Remove 3/4 cup to a small bowl and add the chopped pecans; set aside.
3. Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt to the large bowl with the flour mixture and stir to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, dissolved espresso, and vanilla and then stir them into the dry ingredients just until well blended. The batter should be quite thick.
4. Ladle half of the butter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter. Repeat with the remaining batter and nut mixture. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until a tester inserted into the area around the ramekin comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
5. Cool the cake to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Then run a sharp knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Run the knife around the outside of the ramekin to loosen it from the cake. Gently remove the ramekin and the sides of the pan. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, drizzle the glaze over the top, and serve.
Creamy Espresso Glaze
3 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
11/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, broken into small pieces
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and espresso powder until the espresso has dissolved. Add the cream cheese. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the mixture until blended, and then gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. The glaze should be smooth and thin enough to drizzle over the coffee cake. If too thick, thin with a teaspoon or more of extra milk.