Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend Cooking; Buttermilk Coffee Cake from La Jolla, CA

Okay, I'm not really there but one of my favorite cookbooks is Southern California Cooking from The Cottage by Jane and Michael Stern and Laura Wolfe and it makes me feel like I'm there.   I whipped up this breakfast cake for overnight guests from a visiting church choir.  I adore this cookbook and I remember purchasing it because of all the great breakfast recipes and I think it was the first cookbook I sat down and read like a book.  It has great stories about how the restaurant was purchased by the Wolfe's mixed with surfing and restaurant memories.   I have several starred recipes with penciled in notes about when I made each and how it turned out.

The cookbook is divided into 10 typical sections (breakfast, breakfast breads, soups, salads, sandwiches, dressings and sauces, sides, dinner, and desserts) but the recipes that fill each are extraordinarily yummy!
We love breakfast at our house and I could easily make every single recipe from the two breakfast sections.  Everything from Country French Toast, Breakfast Chiliquiles, 3 different eggs bene's, to Laura's Meatloaf Hash which uses leftover meatloaf.  I've not made that one but now that I have several sources for good, local beef it could happen.

The sandwich section is my second favorite part of this book with recipes like the B.L.A.T (we love avocado here too), the Eggplant Panini, and the Brie, Avocado and Sun-Dried Tomato Melt.  Yum!  Who's ready for lunch??

Here is the Buttermilk Coffee Cake recipe:

A great cake to serve in the morning or anytime during the day.  Buttermilk Coffee Cake has been a staple at the Cottage since the beginning.  We offer bites of it to customers waiting for a table when the place is packed on weekend mornings.  (I love these little notes for their ability to place me right there, waiting for a table.)

1 cup canola oil
3 1/3 cups flour (unbleached)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum-free)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I had pecans so I used them)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13 x 9-in pan.  In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, flour, sugars, cinnamon, and ginger.  the mixture should be crumbly.  Set aside 1 1/3 cups of this batter.  To the remaining batter add the egg, buttermilk, baking powder, soda and salt.  Mix well.  Pour the batter into the baking pan.  To the reserved batter add the nuts and spread topping evenly over the batter.  Bake for 25 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch.  Makes 12 pieces of (warm, crumbly) cake.  (52)

Weekend Cooking is hosted at Beth Fish Reads-click there to find many more food-related posts.
Some day I hope to take a food journey to La Jolla so I can sit at the cottage and enjoy the casual ambiance.I might even have a Sam Smith Organic Lager listed on their drink menu. Click here to see The Cottage website.

Happy Cooking!


Nan said...

This sounds fantastic! I'd be using melted butter instead of oil, though. :<)

Beth F said...

I love Jane and Michael Stern. They are fabulous story tellers and people all foodies should know.

I haven't looked through this cookbook but I too like the idea that there are a lot of breakfast recipes. Holiday weekends need special meals -- even in the morning.

The recipe you shared is terrific because it uses ingredients I always have in the house. I keep powdered buttermilk in my freezer at all times so I could make this at the drop of hat.

Col (Col Reads) said...

We're going to have a house full of company this Thanksgiving week, and this would be a perfect breakfast! Thanks for sharing!

JoAnn said...

This cookbook isn't available in my library system, but they do have many others by these authors. What a prolific duo! Will take a look at their other books.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I didn't know of Jane and Michael Stern until last week - now I'll see their names everywhere!

We really enjoy breakfast/brunch items - good for when we have house guests, or as a treat.

Anonymous said...

After living in the northern Rockies for ten years, I finally looked into high-altitude baking. Buttermilk features prominently, because its acidity helps the batter set quickly, preventing the cake from falling. With a few adjustments, this recipe should work well here. Looks good.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

A cookbook with real life tidbits gets me everytime...even if I never make a single recipe. I love breakfast too and especially making it for a crowd of my family...while still in my pj's :)

Peggy@Faithful Friend Cafe said...

I'm thinking this will be a staple at my house! Thanks for sharing! Here's my WC