Lazy Sundays are the best Sundays. Heavy carb-loaded brunches; plenty of naps; maybe grazing the tail end of the local farmer’s market*; more napping, perhaps outside at the beach or under the shade of a tree at some park; taking in that rich California sunshine. After a rough few weeks at work where I hardly got to see the light of day, a lazy Sunday is just what I needed to recharge and prepare for the next grueling week ahead.
A few weeks back, I bought a copy of the new Bouchon Bakery Cookbook and have made a few of the recipes with some success. The recipes are quite exacting (requiring a scale rather than just volume measurements), which may be initially intimidating/scary for an amateur home chef. I bake with my kitchen scale maybe 50% of the time, and eyeball everything else. TKeller cannot stress enough the importance of a scale – and because he is my kitchen idol, I am forcing myself to rely more on my scale. The results have been fantastic so far. I highly recommend it.
TLCs (Oatmeal Cookies)
Bouchon Coffee Cake
This coffee cake recipe is probably the best I have ever made – soft interior, nutty streusel topping, and not too sweet. It beats my Ina Garten Coffee Cake by a hair in terms of texture, but I still prefer the taste of the Ina Garten coffee cake more, and have replaced the TKeller filling for the IGarten one. The original instructions say to bake this in a small springform pan or mold, but I’ve found that a regular bundt pan works best (shorter baking time) though a regular cake pan works fine as well (takes longer for the center).
203 g all purpose flour
5.5 g baking powder
1.7 g baking soda
1.7 g salt
75 g butter, room temperature
210 g granulated sugar
75 g eggs
20 g vanilla paste [substitute for vanilla extract OK]
225 g sour cream [creme fraiche works well too]
15 g light brown sugar
60 g all purpose flour
60 g almond flour/meal
60 g granulated sugar
60 g butter, cold
2-3 g ground cinnamon
For the batter, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for 3-5 minutes on low speed until it has a consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Add the sugar and cream until the mixture is fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla just until combined. Make sure not to overwhip the batter once the eggs are in as it may cause the cakes to expand/crack too much during baking. To the butter mixture, alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream, beating on low speed until all combined. Remember to occasionally scrape down the bowl as well. Once all incorporated, cover the batter and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 325*F and grease baking pan as needed. In the meantime, combine all the topping ingredients together, breaking any large lumps.
Keller instructs to pipe the batter into the bottom of the pan in a nice spiral shape – being lazy, I unceremoniously dumped half the batter into the buttered pan, then dusted half of the topping over it. I then added the remaining batter, using a spatula to even it out before dusting the rest of the topping over the top of the cake batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool on a rack before using a shark knife to separate the cake from the pan’s edge and unmolding the cake. Enjoy.
Crazy work schedule and life aside, I hope to continue sharing more food adventures with you soon. I’ll be alternating coasts for the next couple of weeks, but hopefully this will bring me one step closer to permanently relocating to the Best Coast. Until soon and thanks for reading!
*Note: The local farmer’s market is going crazy over the latest spring arrivals – sugar snap peas, beautiful spring onions, some stinging nettle, bunches of beautiful early carrots, and bountiful varieties of lovely flowers. Make sure you visit for the freshest local ingredients and best produce you can find in your area. As a good tip – the closer you go toward the end of the vendor time frame, the cheaper the produce becomes as vendors try to get rid of their goods. It is an excellent and very opportune time to stop by. In addition to spring stables, I was able to find remnants of winter and made a lovely salad of purple kale, Brussels sprouts, mixed with a bit of spring baby arugula greens. Inspiration here.