May 21, 2009

Pom Koek (Belgian Coffee Cake)

Belgian food has been described as having French finesse but served in German quantities. Being part Belgian, I can attest to this--my family puts on feasts. In fact, my Belgian great grandfather was one of the best French Chefs in depression-era Chicago. I have just a little bit of family pride where cookery is concerned. Unfortunately, the old goat didn't write his recipes down - so his descendents have relied on cookbooks and genetic "chefly intuition" to become excellent home cooks.

This is my first foray into trying Belgian recipes- a coffee cake made with real coffee. And a lot of spices. True to my Belgian roots, I put even more spices than the original recipe called for, and added a sweet streusel layer between the cake. We Belgians never cook simply. That's the French influence. --AnglophileLV

Pom Koek (Belgian Coffee Cake)

Ingredients for the Cake
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
(can also add 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
1 cup hot coffee
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Ingredients for the Yummy Layer
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
(optional) 1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare a 9" by 4" in loaf pan by lightly greasing the sides.
3. Mix together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon & cloves).
4. In a separate bowl, quickly mix 1 egg. Spoon in and mix the honey, coffee, and oil.
5. Quickly fold in the dry ingredients - mixing just enough to combine without toughening the batter.
6. Pour half the mixture into the pan.
7. Mix the ingredients for the "yummy layer" and spoon quarter sized dollops over the batter in the pan. Then cover with remaining coffee cake batter.
8. Fold into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Use a tooth pick to see if center is done.
9. Serve warm plain or with butter.

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