blueberry-coconut coffee cake

blueberry buckle 1

I was recently burdened with an overabundance of blueberries. (What a hard life I have, I know)

As much as I love blueberries I was nearing the end of my week and still had more than I could eat sitting in the fridge taunting me, threatening me that they were going to turn at any minute. The worst thing about berries is that they turn from delicious to inedible in the blink of an eye.

What was I to do with these berries? How could I possibly relieve myself of this awful burden?

The same way I solve all of my other problems, apparently, with cake!

As though it was meant to be, I came across the Bon Appetit recipe for a blueberry buckle and the clouds parted and the angels sang and all was right in the world again….

blueberry buckle 2

And I thought I would kick up the summer appeal by adding a bit of tropical coconut… because coconut = summer, right? Something like that.

I’m not sure what exactly differentiates a buckle from a coffee cake or any other cake for that matter… then again, who does? According to this article, this thing isn’t even a buckle, anyway! I think this counts as “coffee cake” in my book, but if they want to call it a buckle, I’m down for that too.

“A cake by any other name still tastes as sweet…”

Right?

But this buckle/cake/coffee cake/sugar-flour-butter-baby was amazing.

This was one of the most tender cake/cake-like-items that I have ever put in my mouth. The fact that it was filled to the brim with tart-yet-sweet blueberries and topped with glorious cinnamony streusel just made it all that much better. This cake “buckle”  is just as suited to accompany your morning coffee as it is for you after-dinner scoop of ice cream.

blueberry coconut coffee cake

Prep Time: 14 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients

    For the streusel
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
  • For the buckle
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces blueberries

Instructions

    Prepare for baking
  1. Prepare a 9-inch round spring-form pan with flour and butter (or use baking spray) and line with parchment. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Make the topping
  3. Whisk all streusel ingredients together except butter.
  4. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and cut into the streusel mixture until evenly distributed.
  5. Make the buckle
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter with sugar on high until the butter is pale and fluffy, about five minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated.
  8. Turn speed to low and add the flour mixture in two additions alternating with the coconut cream, just until incorporated.
  9. Gently fold in the blueberries into the batter and scrape the batter into the pan. The batter will be thick and chock-full of blueberries. Gently press the batter into the pan with your hands or a spatula until it covers the bottom of the pan.
  10. Top batter with streusel and bake 80 to 90 minutes until baked through. Cool at least 30 minutes on a wire rack still in the pan.

Notes

* You will want to use a spring-form pan here since you cannot turn out the cake (or you will lose all of the delicious streusel)

* Though blueberries are used here, feel free to use any fruit you like or no fruit at all. This cake is AMAZING.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Apetit, July 2014

http://wee-eats.com/2014/07/28/blueberry-coconut-coffee-cake/

short rib grilled cheese

short rib cheese

Even though I was convinced I just saw this recipe a couple weeks ago in my Bon Appétit, I went back to my bookshelf and turns out… February 2010 cover recipe. No big deal. Apparently the cover picture was just hibernating in my subconscious waiting for the perfect time to spring out and jerk my hunger chains. Grilled cheese and short rib sandwich with pickled caramelized onions and arugula… yeah, pretty full of win.

The issue? Finding short ribs. I checked all my usual stores during my regular shopping and didn’t see any. Finally, the morning after thanksgiving, I stopped at the store on my way home from the gym. I found short ribs, but they were the “last chance 50% off buy these before they spoil” short ribs… not gonna cut it. Unfortunately for them, that let me know that the option existed. The friendly man behind the meat counter at my local Safeway grocery store was sweet enough to go in the back and cut them for me fresh. I was so excited… until he handed me the package.

30+ dollars for my package of short ribs!? Wish I had known that ahead of time. I was tempted to dump them into the cooler and abandon my dreams of short rib grilled cheese… but after waiting for like 25 minutes for the poor guy to get them, cut them, and package them specially for me, I felt obligated to purchase them. I went to buy a loaf of hearty bread and… there was none. I probably should’ve anticipated that the store would be ransacked and empty the day after thanksgiving, but I didn’t. what ever happened to home-made rolls, people? Fresh bread for thanksgiving? Come on, lazybones, a loaf of store bought bread on thanksgiving? Really? Leaving me with no options the next day? I gave up and was forced to use wimpy bread, making it more of a knife-and-fork sandwich, but delicious no less.

Still medium defeated, I returned home and began cooking. Sure, I should’ve been eating leftovers, but this sandwich was in my head. I couldn’t get it out. I needed to make it before my brain exploded. I began braising the short ribs on the stove top, made my onions ahead of time, and sat around all day while the house smelled delicious.

Boyfriend ate one and a half sandwiches, they were darn tasty. My issue was with the short ribs themselves. Even after I picked out as much fat as I could, I felt like I threw away pretty much half of my meat. $15 of meat just gone, because I deemed it too fatty. So while the sandwiches were delicious, I don’t know if I would spring for short ribs again, or if I did I might pull the trick of putting the cooked short ribs in the oven to dry out a bit. I bet that would be super tasty…

Regardless, I give you

Bon Appetit’s Grilled Cheese and Short Rib Sandwiches (with Pickled Caramelized Onions and Arugula )

[ Printable Recipe ]

Short Ribs

  • 5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-salt beef broth
  • 1/3 cup medium-dry Sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large fresh thyme sprig

Pickled Caramelized Onions

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced crosswise (about 6 cups)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Assembly

  • Butter, room temperature
  • 16 slices country-style crusty white bread
  • 12 ounces Petit Basque or Monterey
  • Jack cheese, sliced
  • 4 cups baby arugula

For the Short Ribs

1. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook beef until browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, Sherry, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprig; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Season with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot, propping up on sides and arranging in single layer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour.

3. Using tongs, turn ribs over in pot. Cover and simmer until ribs are tender and sauce is very thick, occasionally rearranging ribs in pot to prevent sticking, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Uncover and cool 30 minutes.

4. Transfer ribs to work surface. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprig. Spoon off fat from sauce in pot. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces, trimming any fat. Return meat to pot.

* Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm just until lukewarm before using.

Pickled Caramelized Onions

1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until almost all vinegar is absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl; cool.

* Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Microwave in 15-second intervals until lukewarm before using.

Assembly

1. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with waxed paper. Butter 8 bread slices; place 4 slices, buttered side down, on each prepared sheet.

2. Divide short rib mixture among bread slices, about 1/2 cup for each. Divide cheese among sandwiches. Spoon about 1/4 cup onions over each sandwich. Place large handful of arugula atop onions. Top with remaining 8 bread slices. Spread bread with butter.

* Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

3. Heat griddle over medium heat. Working in batches, cook sandwiches until bread is golden brown and cheese melts, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface. Cut each in half on diagonal. Transfer to plates and serve.