Good morning and welcome to another week. I have a pretty good weekend – just the right amount of busy to be entertaining but not too much so that I didn’t feel relaxed. On Friday night, we went to our friend’s place with a few other people to play poker. I put up a decent fight but ended up being the first one out, sadly. I may have gotten too big for my britches after having won the last time we played. No matter. I’ll be back with a vengeance next time. On Saturday, Kramer had a lot of homework to do, so I met up with my friend Donny to go to an Indonesian food festival in Woodside. I had black beef soup, which was perfectly spicy with bits of super tender beef and lots of lemongrass, as well as insanely good beef rendang, the leftovers of which I brought home to poor Kramer, still slaving away at home. Donny went off in search of fried chicken, being the true believer that he is, and I went home to make cookies before leaving once again to meet up with my friend Taren to view and photograph The Difficult to Name Reading Series in the city. After the show, Taren, Kramer and I went to a sports bar so that I could eat wings and Taren could watch basketball. I mean, we all ate wings, but I was definitely more into the wings than I was into basketball. We finished the night with a cocktail, then Kramer and I sat on the couch and watched half of an episode of Empire before I couldn’t stay awake anymore and we went to bed. Sunday was perfect because we didn’t leave the house until around 7 to grab a drink at the bar around the corner from our apartment, only to return home to eat the lamb I had cooked earlier because I realized as soon as we sat down that I was starving. We watched that crazy Scientology documentary, too, just to make sure that I’d have sufficiently terrifying nightmares – that seems to be what HBO is trying to do to me between this and The Jinx. Seriously – watch that documentary and tell me you don’t have at least a little trouble falling asleep afterward.
Bagels from Black Seed, uni and toast with sake lees from Ssam Bar, old fashioneds, avos, a much needed cortado and larger than needed (but amazingly delicious) Pullman bread from The Bedford Cheese Shop.
I was recently gifted both this gorgeous Le Creuset cake stand and a selection of Bonne Maman jams, so clearly some sort of cake was in order. I settled on this mish-mash version of a coffee cake so that the jam could shine and I could adorn my new white cake stand with something outstanding. There’s a layer of moist cake, made so thanks to a healthy helping of full fat Greek yogurt, a layer of sweet cinnamon-y streusel, a layer of sweet cherry preserves, and, of course, to top it all off, a layer of crunchy cinnamon-sugar goodness. All together, this is perhaps one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. It’s great as a breakfast treat, definitely something to savor on a Sunday with a cup of black coffee, or good enough to have for dessert after a hopefully vegetable-heavy meal to counteract a little indulgence. I sliced this up, placed parchment paper between each slice, and gave some away but also froze about half of it to enjoy later. One night, I gave my friend Taren a few slices to take home, straigh from the freezer, and she said that it was absolutely delicious even after having been frozen – but I knew that already, because I’m of the belief that everything sweet, or at least almost everything, is better frozen or at least a little chilled.
What you’ll need.
Cherry preserves? Hello, my love.
Make your streusel and your cake batter.
Then pour half of your batter into your prepared pan, followed by half of your streusel.
Then add your jam by creating a well around the inside of the streusel.
Next, add the rest of your batter.
And the rest of your streusel.
Bake until a tester comes out clean.
Allow to cool, brush with butter, cinnamon and sugar and serve.
- 1½ cups packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 1⅓ cup yogurt or sour cream
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 13-ounce jar of jam
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- First, make your streusel. Combine your sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium sized bowl, then use your hands to cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and generously butter a 10-inch bundt cake pan.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat together your sugar and butter until well creamed, about 3 minutes total. Add in your eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed and only adding in the next egg after the previous one has been incorporated. Add in the vanilla or almond extract and beat until combined, then add in the yogurt or sour cream and beat until combined, again, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture to your batter, a bit at a time, until well combined, being careful not to overmix.
- Pour half of your batter into your prepared pan, followed by half of your streusel. Use a spoon to make a well (or, as I like to call it, a moat) around the middle of the batter, and pour the jam into it. Top the jam with the rest of your cake batter, then add the rest of your streusel on top of that. Pat the streusel down a bit to even it out. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until golden and set - the sugar will be bubbling a bit on top.
- Place the cake on a cooling rack and let it cool for an hour before running a butter knife around the edges and releasing the cake from the pan and onto your plate. Brush the top of the cake with 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter, then sprinkle with your combined ½ cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Allow to cool for another 30-45 minutes or so before slicing. This will keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months (I still have a few slices in the freezer myself).