Summer is still among us in Washington State. And I thought I was done with making cakes containing sour cream and berries. But I guess I still had some sour cream in my fridge. Is it weird to have sour cream as a staple? I never thought we consume a lot of sour cream and dairy products, but I guess we do. Good ol’ sour cream! And berries. Got them the other day from a Farmer’s Market in a smaller northern town on a weekday. Blackberries are great because we continue to get them well into September.
This may look like a repeat of similar types of cakes and cake bars, but if you look closely, you’ll notice a few minor details that set this apart.
There are three minor details that you might look past without noticing: the little flecks of ground up coffee beans in the cake part, the cookie base below the cake part, and the apricot jam that you use as a glaze over the cake after it comes out of the oven.
I’m picking and choosing from internet recipes and books in coming up with this. Such a luxury to surf the internet and find ideas worth replicating. Basically, this is inspired by European cakes that have a cookie or bread base. (Kuchen much?)
Also, the inspiration for adding ground up coffee beans comes from a book by Maggie Mayhew on Tarts. She has a recipe for Blueberry Frangipane Tart that contains coffee grounds. I love it, and might have to try adding this to more recipes. If you do not want coffee, just leave it out. But you’d be missing out, I think. I initially felt that the coffee grounds might make it gritty, but it isn’t. I also thought that it might clash with the fruit, but it actually goes very well, I think.
The aroma of it, as it cools from the oven and permeates through your dwelling will be amazing. I took the garbage out, and when I returned to the door of the floor where our apartment is, I could smell it!
I wasn’t sure on how thick I wanted the cookie base, so I rolled it quite thin and had extra unused dough. If I make this again, I’ll just roll it thicker and use all the dough. If you don’t like a cookie base with your cake, leave it out! But again, you’d be missing out, I think. I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as I did.
Coffee and Blackberry Cake Tart
1 and ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
10 Tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
Up to 3 Tablespoons ice cold water
Sift flour with baking powder, sugar. Set aside. Cut butter with flour mixture, using knives until mixture resembles sand with pea-sized crumbs. Add cold water gradually until dough forms. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2hours. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness and exactly a 9-inch square to fit a 9-inch by 9-inch square baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper, with paper overhanging from two sides. (I rolled mine out thinner, and regretted it! I found myself wanting a thicker crust!) If you have an 8 x 8 baking pan, it would work, but the cake might take a little longer to bake, and it would be a little taller.
Using a fork, prick the inside bottom of the surface. Partially bake for 12-15 minutes on 350 degrees F. Crust should be very slightly golden. Do not over bake, as it will bake more when you bake the cake over it. Cool before using.
for cake or filling
1 cup flour
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 Tablespoons coffee beans, freshly ground
Combine flour baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk to fully mix. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg. Beat until incorporated, then add in the vanilla extract and beat until it disappears.
Add a third of the flour mixture to the batter, followed by half sour cream, then the second third of the flour mix, followed by the remaining sour cream, and lastly, the final third of the flour mixture. Do not over mix, but do mix until all the ingredients are moistened. Add the ground coffee and mix until evenly dispersed flecks are all throughout the batter, try not to over mix and use a low speed. Pour the cake batter into the partially baked crust, and top with the blackberries, evenly spread out, and gently press down with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F., or until center of cake springs back, or until toothpick test in center comes out clean.
Remove to cool on a wire rack, brush the top lightly with apricot jam.
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