Barako & Cherry Preserve Cake

Here’s another thing we’ve learned from baking experiments: barako does wonders for your baked goods. You won’t need a lot, but you will need to grind your beans very, very finely to make sure they won’t feel gritty in the crumb (you can use a grinder or a blender). In this recipe, the barako brings a nutty, roasty flavor and highlights the sweetness of the fruit. We used cherry preserves, but feel free to use your favorite kind. We think a sweeter jam or preserve (blueberry or apricot) might work even better for it. This cake is perfect for all your breakfast and snacking needs.

For the oat streusel topping:
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp whole flour
1 tbsp quick cooking oats
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

For the cake:
1 1/2 cup cherry jam or cherry preserves
2 sticks / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk
2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp barako coffee, very finely ground
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make the streusel topping. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a for to cut and mix in the butter until fine crumbs form. Squeeze to form large clumps. Set aside until ready to use. This topping may be kept frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Make the cake. Preheat oven to 176°C/350°F. Grease and flour two 9×2 inch round cake pans. Line with parchment.

In one bowl, combine and whisk together flours, finely ground coffee, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with your electric mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes or until it has become creamy and light-colored.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you do. Beat on high speed for 30 seconds after each addition. Beat for 1 minute after all eggs have been added. Add the vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir by hand to finish. Be careful not to overbeat.

Assemble your cake. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Spoon preserves over the batter. Use a knife to swirl through the batter. Sprinkle streusel on top of the batter.

Bake at 176°C/350°F for 40-45 minutes (rotate halfway through, if your oven is a little tricky and has a habit of baking unevenly) or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the cake pans for at least 10 minutes. Unmold and serve.

Have some cake. You can have it plain or with a quick dusting of powdered sugar, for breakfast or for a quick snack, with a cup of coffee.

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