Monday, October 7, 2013

Chocolate-Cinnamon Coffee Cake

A week or so ago, the October issue of Bon Appetit arrived. SP knew right away which recipe I was going to want to try immediately: Chocolate-Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Two of my favorite flavors.
Bonus: this coffee cake bakes in an 8" x 8" pan, which is a much more manageable size for the two of us. We can never finish a two layer cake or a 9" x 13" cake in a week.
I've been searching for a tasty chocolate-cinnamon cake ever since last year's Collapsing Cappuccino Squares disaster. I was a little worried. Would our middle filling sink to the bottom again? Would the cake collapse in the center? Should we use the convection bake setting or regular bake setting? Would semi-sweet chocolate chips be a good substitution for chopped bittersweet chocolate? What about low fat Greek yogurt instead of whole Greek yogurt? Would our expired baking soda be OK?
I am happy to report that it turned out amazing! The chocolate chips were fine. The middle of the cake didn't collapse. The middle filling didn't sink. It puffed up nicely in the middle, then settled a bit. The filling stayed in the middle. This is definitely a make again coffee cake. I had a small piece for breakfast, a small piece for an afternoon snack, and a piece for dessert. Lots of cinnamon & chocolate flavor. Moist cake. Now I am wondering if 8" x 8" is big enough?!
Notes:
*We used semi-sweet chocolate chips because I mistakenly assumed we had bittersweet baking chocolate. We didn't, and no one wanted to go to the store Sunday late morning. The chocolate chips are fine, but next time, if I remember, I'll try the bittersweet chocolate.

*The 5 months expired baking soda didn't have any negative effect, but it's on our list for next week's grocery trip.

*SP couldn't find plain whole Greek yogurt so we used his regular non-fat Greek yogurt. I don't think the cake suffered from a lower fat yogurt.

*SP bought whole hazelnuts at Costco, so he blanched, peeled, and chopped them. If it had been me, I would have paid more and gone to the baking aisle to buy the hazelnuts already blanched and peeled, but since he said he'd do it, I cannot complain. It's not difficult, just a wee bit time consuming.

*As usual, I used a generous 3/4 tsp cinnamon, close to 1 tsp.

*We ended up using the convection bake setting, but at 375 so that the automatic conversion was to 350 and the fan kicked on. This is a matter of our experience with the previous oven over-heating and frying the front control panel and our 2 year old, slightly pricey oven still being our 'baby.' The fan only kicks on at 350+. The last time I set it to convection bake and entered 350, it automatically converted to 325, the fan didn't come on, and the front panel and burner knobs got really, really hot, which is what we want to avoid. Our cake was done after 40 minutes.

Recipe here.

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