Nancy Silverton's recipe for coffee cake is by far the best I have come across. Made with crème fraiche, it is light with a beautiful crumb structure. Our 4th of July started early this year because my bocce partner Kady and I were playing at 10:00 AM in a bocce tournament. Knowing we would need a solid food foundation to start off our day of merriment; I decided to make the coffee cake for breakfast.
Lesson learned on this cake, use crème fraiche. I decided to make this cake last minute, so I didn't have time to make crème fraiche. Nancy says you can use sour cream, which I did. The resulting cake was much heavier and chewier than its crème fraiche variation. Everyone at the party loved it, but knowing how great it is with crème fraiche I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed.
Here's my adaptation of the recipe from Nancy Silverton's Pastries from La Brea Bakery
1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
¼ cup plus 2 Tb light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Mix above ingredients together, set aside.
2 large eggs
2 cups crème fraiche (or sour cream)
1 tbsp vanilla
8 oz cold butter cubed
2 cups sugar
3 cups AP flour
1 Tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
Butter a 14-cup capacity bundt pan.
Preheat oven to 325.
In a bowl, mix dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk crème fraiche, eggs and vanilla together. In a mixing bowl paddle butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add the crème fraiche mixture to the creamed butter a little at a time till fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches till fully incorporated. Put half the batter into the bundt pan using your fingers to smooth it out (wet fingers with water first, it makes it easy to spread). Scatter the brown sugar walnut crumbs all over the batter. Put the remaining batter on top of the crumbs, using wet fingers again to smooth it out. Bake for about an hour till firm to the touch.