THB : Strawberry Coffee Cake

It's our seventh bake at The Home Bakers (THB)! Our fellow baker, Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake has chosen Strawberry Coffee Cake for our bake. Alice is a dedicated baker with a wonderful blog, if you have not had the pleasure of knowing Alice, please do pay her a visit! 

I really, really, like this cake! Can you see the lovely moist texture, almost smooth crumbs! Although, there are several blunders that I made when making this cake, I'm so relieved and glad that it turn out fine in the end, more than fine, it was delicious!

The batter is made up of, other than the usual, eggs, flour, sugar, there's a mixture of cream cheese and butter, the proportion of cream cheese is double to that of butter. Seeing that the sugar is not too much for this recipe, I did not reduce the amount as I would have in most of the cakes that I baked. I only made half a recipe, using a 7" round cake pan, which is my first blunder. After the batter has been spread into the cake pan, I realized that the cake pan might be too small, but I was lazy to switch pan, and leave it at that. One of the raising agent is a small amount of baking soda, but I mixed in the full amount of baking powder instead, for half a recipe, and decided to omit the baking soda. (blame it on the hubby! he came into the kitchen to ask me something, when I was measuring the baking powder and got distracted! yeah! yeah!) Next on the "blunder list" are the strawberries! I have some leftover frozen chopped strawberries in my freezer and I used that, even though I knew that it is not a perfect choice, because the strawberries was frozen when they were really ripe and wet. Instead of discarding the overripe berries, I decide to freeze them. The thought of buying some fresh strawberries did come to mind as I knew that my frozen chopped strawberries will bleed and release their juices, but I went ahead to use the frozen ones anyway! Let's just say, I expected the strawberries juices will bubble, but keeping my fingers crossed that the cake will turn out OK!!

The instructions in the recipe mentioned that half the batter is to be spread into the pan, scatter the sliced strawberries over the batter and top with the remaining batter. Since I'm using chopped and wet strawberries and did not want them to sink to the bottom of the cake, I spread all of the batter in the pan and scatter the strawberrries on top, which I coat with 1 tablespoon of flour and which makes no difference at all, as all the flour disappear when mixed with the wet strawberries!! (I got to thaw my frozen strawberries as they are stuck together in one big lump!, hence the strawberries got really wet from their juices when thawed! oh well!). The mixture of nuts, I use almonds, and brown sugar are then sprinkle over the strawberries. When I am done with all this, the pan is already full to the brim! Oh well! Let's hope for the best. Into the oven the pan went!
The cake was bubbling into the 35 minutes of baking! The juices from the strawberries and the sugar on top, began to bubble and some of it dripped onto my oven floor. I then placed a baking sheet under the pan to catch the drippings! Not looking good, so far! I checked the cake at 45 minutes and it is still soggy in the middle! The top is browning nicely, so I tent the top with foil to avoid burning! Not looking good at all! I baked for a further 20 minutes until the cake is done. I guess the long baking time is due to the small cake pan than I've used, resulting in a higher and thicker batter, thus taking a longer time to cook! I let the cake cools in the pan for about 20 minutes and turn it out onto a plate. It looks OK, but the real test is when I sliced a piece to taste.

This cake is so good! I love the texture of the cake, you can definitely taste the cheese flavour, and the texture is compact, but at the same time, it is moist and soft, almost with a velvety texture that you would expect from a cake made with cream cheese! It is not too sweet, in fact the sweetness is just perfect! As for the strawberries, they are soft and juicy, and since I'm using our local strawberries, they are tart, but goes really well with the cake. The topping of mixed almonds and brown sugar added a wonderful crunch, since the strawberries are little bit sour, the sugar topping is perfect! This is one cake that I would be making again! Just got to remember to use a slightly bigger pan!

Please stop by Alice of I Love.I Cook.I Bake for the recipe and to see the rest of my fellow bakers'  bake on this cake, please visit The Home Bakers (THB).

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THB is currently baking from Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas, if you would like to join in, please hop over to THB for details on how to become a member. Everyone's welcome!