Monday, January 18, 2010

Cream Cheese Filled Coffee Cake

Wow, it has been a crazy holiday season. I got back from my trip to MD (which was full of wonderful culinary adventures), had a week of swim camp to run (indoor snowball fights, icebergs, and prehistoric megafauna are no joke), and then our regular swim lessons started up again. Over the course of the first week in 2010, I received two more xmas presents from Corey: a subscription to National Geographic and Cooks Illustrated.

I fell in love with Cooks Illustrated ages ago. No, they are not a vegan publication, but I've been veganizing long enough to figure that stuff out myself. In addition, they really focus on the food science, which comes in handy when veganizing anyway. So, no, I won't make the beefiest beef stew, but I will make perfect baked apples, Austrian potato salad, and cream cheese-filled coffee cake.

The topping called for is crunchy and light: lemon-sugar-almond. Unfortunately, Corey does not do lemon, and our friend Adam is allergic to almonds, so I skipped a topping altogether and didn't miss it!

A couple of notes: My batter wasn't like a cake batter--it was more similar to brownie batter. Very thick and difficult to spread. If this happens to yours, no worries, you're doing it right. My cream cheese filling also spread a lot out to the sides and it even baked up to the top of the cake. It actually left a very pretty marble pattern on the top, and the slightly browned edges of cream cheese were a pleasant surprise. Lastly, the cake fell a lot after I took it out of the oven, and I suspect that it didn't rise as well as it should because there was a big delay between getting the batter together and actually baking it--Ener-G Eggs loose their potency the longer you wait to bake your goods. The results were totally delicious anyway. Moist and soft vanilla cake with a drizzle of sweetened cream cheese in every bite? Count me in!

Cream Cheese Filled Coffee Cake
serves 14-16

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/8 t baking powder
1 1/8 t baking soda
1 t salt
10 T Earth Balance, slightly softened
1 cup 2 T sugar 
1/2 T lemon zest
4 Ener-G Eggs
5 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Sour Supreme

8 oz Better Than Cream Cheese
2 t vanilla extract
5 T sugar
1/4 c coffee cake batter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 10" tube pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add Ener-G eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce mixer speed to low and add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing well until combined, followed by half of the sour cream, mixing well. Repeat using half of the remaining flour mixture and the rest of the sour cream, followed again by the rest of the flour mixture, mixing again until combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in any remaining flour.

3. Reserve 1 1/4 cup batter and set aside. Spoon the remaining batter into the prepped tube pan and smooth the top.

4. Return the mixing bowl to the stand mixer and beat the Better Than Cream Cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, for about 1 minute. Add the reserved 1/4 cup batter to the mixture and mix until incorporated.

5. Spoon the Better Than Cream Cheese filling into the tube pan, keeping it about 1 inch from the sides. Spread the remaining cup of batter over the filling and smooth the top. Tap twice on the counter firmly to dislodge any bubbles.

6. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes, and a cake tester inserted comes out clean (if inserted into the cheese it will be wet). Remove the pan from the oven and tap firmly on the counter twice to dislodge air bubbles (cake may fall at this point).

7. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Gently invert the cake and remove it from the pan (I needed Corey's help for this part.) and allow it to cool for another hour, then slice and serve.

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