I've been missing all June and I don't really have any excuse except to say that I just needed some 'time-out'. I can't even blame the summer heat anymore, 'cause the monsoon rains have arrived. And they haven't just arrived, they have thundered in and shown their might. The northern Indian state of Uttarakhand has borne the worst with unprecedented landslides and flooding. A thought and prayer for all the flood victims and a salute to our armed forces for their relentless recue efforts!!
As for the rest of India, we've also been getting more than our fair share of rains this month. And whether it is a lashing downpour or a persistent drizzle, on days like these it makes sense to stay at home and snuggle up with a good book by the window. And what's perfect to go with a good book, by the window, on a rainy day?? Why, a hot cup of coffee and some cake, of course!!
And that prompted me to make this coffee cake. A coffee cake is a regular butter cake that has a distinctive streusel topping. And no, it doesn't have coffee in it but rather implies that this is a cake that should be served along with a cup of coffee!! How's that for some baking trivia for your day?!
Its stone fruit season and there aren't too many recipes that work with fresh cherries apart from clafoutis and pie. That's when I decided to add a layer of fresh cherries, right beneath the streusel. The streusel is a combination of walnuts, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Although since I didn't have chocolate chips, I went with chocolate chunks. And while the chunks tasted great, they didn't really help with the visual appeal of the streusel layer!
So, this is not a good looking cake but don't judge the book by its cover. The fresh, juicy cherries, the toasted walnuts, the chocolate and the cinnamon, all complement and heighten the flavour profile of this moist, buttery cake and give you something new with every bite. This cake is open to adaptation - get imaginative with the streusel layer, leave out the cherries if you can't find any or try another fruit, plums maybe?! The cake engages your palate just as the page-turner that you read alongside, engages your imagination.
As for me, I'll get back to the book that has me completely engrossed. I'm currently reading, Khaled Hosseini's "And The Mountains Echoed". What's been occupying your book shelf lately?? Tell me!