I had planned on spending this entire week with Joshua, prior to Savanna’s arrival. But given how my mental state has been challenged, I decided today I need some time to myself. So rather than going with Cliff to Joshua’s music class this morning, I stayed home. When I finally dragged my butt out of bed at 9 am, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. I can’t remember the last time I had no plans and nowhere to run to. I made myself a cup of coffee, sat at the dining room table, and just enjoyed the blank space. It was luxurious.
Finally, I decided to make a coffee cake recipe that I found on Smitten Kitchen. I was looking for a zen experience with baking, but it was just not meant to be. During the process, my mixer started making a terrible loud noise, then it smelled like smoke, then it just died. Kaput! Granted it was an old handheld mixer inherited from my mom many years ago, I was not happy for it to die and leaving me stranded. I used my spatula to finish the mixing job by hand. As fate would have it, my spatula snaps in half!
By this point I was ready to throw the half-mixed batter in the garbage and drink a glass of wine at 9:30 am.
I found another instrument to finish the mixing manually, and followed through with the recipe. The cake turned out to be very moist underneath the crunchy top layer. It would go well with a cup of coffee or tea.
You would know by now I can’t leave a good recipe the way it is. I have to change it up. So what I’ve done is reduce the sugar used in the original recipe, and I found it to be plenty sweet still. If you have a very sweet tooth, go ahead and follow the original recipe. I just didn’t find it necessary.
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
Filling and Topping
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. Set pan aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl. Alternately mix in sour cream and then dry ingredients into butter mixture until both are used up and the batter is smooth and very thick. In a medium bowl, beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold into batter.
In a small dish, whisk together sugar and cinnamon for filling and topping.
Spread half the cake batter in the bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon-sugar mixture and half of the chocolate chips. Dollop remaining cake batter over filling in spoonfuls. Use a rubber or offset spatula to gently spread it over the filling and smooth the top. Sprinkle batter with remaining cinnamon-sugar and remaining chocolate chips. With the palm of your hand, ever-so-gently press the chocolate chips a bit into the batter. No need to submerge them, you just want to make sure they adhere bit.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.