Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hungarian Coffee Cake

Monkey bread holds a special place in my heart. Growing up it was one of my favorite Sunday morning treats, the smell and sugary gooeyness was a perfect way to start the day.  We made it using a tube of biscuits and I never thought about making it any other way.  When it was announced as the winning recipe for the August Cake Slice cake I was very excited to give a new version a try.

Lauren Chattman's  version is different from what I had growing up and at first I was a little disappointed.  Chattman's version is more cake like and didn't pull apart into soft billowy balls.  Other Cake Slicers were able to pull their cake apart into little balls, so I think I must have done something that caused mine to bake into more of a solid mass.  The sugar didn't seem to ooze through cake, again this could have been because of an error on my part.  Once I got over my initial disappointment that this wasn't the exact replica of the monkey bread of my past, I really enjoyed this cake.  The cake, while more like a coffee cake than a gooey cinnamon roll was flavorful and delicious.  While I'm not sure I will do this version again I think I will seek out a new recipe for monkey bread so I don't have to depend on dough from a tube.

Augusts Cake: Hungarian Coffee Cake
Makes one 12 cup Bundt cake
Recipe from  Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
9 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk, plus more if necessary
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup raisins

Method – Topping
Whisk together the melted butter and light brown sugar. Set aside.

Method – Cake
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a nonstick 12 cup Bundt pan and dust with flour.
Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a zipper top bag. Cut the butter into 1/4 inch dice. Place the butter in a small bowl and set it in the freezer while you gather together the rest of the ingredients.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter pieces and, with an electric mixer mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk until the mixture just comes together, adding an extra tablespoon or two if the mixture is too dry.
Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop up balls of dough and transfer them to the zipper top bag. Shake the bag to coat the balls with the cinnamon sugar.
Place the coated balls of dough in the prepared pan, sprinkling the walnuts and raisins over them as you go. Pour the melted butter mixture over the cake. Bake until the cake is firm and well risen and the caramel is melted, about 35-40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter and serve immediately.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for 1 day.