Monday, July 23, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

It seems like the world is full of different coffee cakes, and many of them have some sort of fruit filling paired with cream cheese. This one is no different, but I really like how the fruit is used in this one. I will buy fresh fruit and I’m not always so good about using it up right away. If you do that too, this cake is for you.

For this recipe, you make a jam with the fruit. That accomplishes a couple of things. You can use very ripe fruit in the jam with no worries. No one will ever know if your berries were a little on the soft side. Also, you can make the jam in advance so I ended up making the jam one day, when I just had a couple of minutes. I then assembled and baked the cake the next day when I had more time. It worked out wonderfully.

The batter for this cake is super stiff, so it was pretty easy to spread it up the sides of the pan. You need that well in the center so that the strawberry jam and the cream cheese filling have somewhere to go. It’s a little tricky knowing exactly when the cake is done, but I baked mine until the cream cheese filling was just a tiny bit jiggly. I took this to work and it was very well received.

3 teaspoons water
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons sugar

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Prepare the strawberry jam: combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a bowl. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat until the strawberries release their juices, about 5 minutes, and then add the cornstarch and stir until well combined. Stir for another minute or two until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature or chill if making in advance.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch spring form pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or in the food process, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.

In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Using a spatula, stir the wet ingredients gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy. Spread the batter in the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Spread the strawberry jam on the bottom of the pan.

Make the cream cheese filling: beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add in the sugar and egg and beat until well combined.  Spread on top of the strawberry jam and top the cake with the reserved ¾ cup of crumbs.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cream cheese filling is set. Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the cake pan.


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