It’s hard to get yourself out of a rut, particularly when you have been doing something a certain way for years, and it works. We all know the phrase – if its not broken, don’t fix it. Well, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes if you keep doing things one way, you are missing out on something better. That is one of the reasons why I love to cook – I am always searching for the perfect recipe – one that is better than the one I previously thought was perfect. And I think of my kitchen as my lab – I am always experimenting.
Many months ago, I signed up to be a Stonyfield ambassador by applying to be in their blogger club. When I was accepted, I almost wrote back and said thanks, but no thanks. My life is like one of those duffle bags that is completely stuffed – I can’t fit even one more sock in. But if I need that sock, I have to figure out what I am going to take out. I still haven’t quite figured that out, but all I know is I never did decline the invitation, so here I am, stuffing one more thing in.
The good news is that it doesn’t seem like it is going to be that time consuming, especially because I love cooking and baking with yogurt – and this February’s opportunity also included Devine Chocolate. Yum!
My girls had been asking me to make a coffee cake for a while, and all of a sudden it hit me – why do you need to use sour cream or buttermilk in a coffee cake, why couldn’t you use yogurt instead? So I started researching a little – and I learned that it is a perfect substitution, and with a little milk, you have basically created your own buttermilk. So, I heavily adapted this recipe that I found in the Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, and I created my own perfect coffee cake. The yogurt made the cake super moist, with a slight tang – and the chocolate bar – oh my word. That was just perfect as the topping.
So the next time you go through the motions, doing the same thing you have always done – think more broadly – be creative, and think about ways in which you can make it better. There is always a way…
Please note: As a Team Stonyfield ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions are always my own.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3.5 ounce Devine Chocolate with Whole Almonds Bar, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup Stoneyfield Farms plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil spray and line the bottom with parchment.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), mix together the flour, both sugars, the butter and the salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
To make the crumb topping, transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the chocolate and espresso. Set aside.
Sprinkle the baking soda into the remaining butter-sugar mixture. Whisk the yogurt together with the milk. Add the yogurt/milk mixture, egg, vanilla, and almond extract to the butter-sugar mixture, and mix just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan.
* If you find yourself without espresso powder, replace it with 1 teaspoon cinnamon for an equally delicious cake.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Almond-Chocolate-Espresso Coffee Cake