Sunday, 22 December 2013

holiday baking

It has been a really busy and eventful month...I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster ride for the most part of it ;)

It started off with the agonising wait for the release of the psle (primary school leaving exam) results, followed immediately by another few days of decision making...choosing the secondary schools for my younger child. We then flew off for our year end holiday trip to Seoul and Jeju. We had a great time visiting or rather re-visiting the places in Seoul, not forgetting the great eating places and the fun self drive tour in Jeju. It snowed when we were in Seoul and it was a winder wonderland at the Hallasan national park in Jeju, the place was covered with thick snow!

I came down with a cold during the trip and developed skin rashes after we came home :( Despite the discomfort from the itchy rashes, sinus and coughing, I still had to carry on with washing and clearing the piles of laundry...the usual aftermath of a holiday trip. It took me more than a week to recover and I went on to work on the year end spring cleaning chores.

My roller coaster ride ended on a high note with the good news that my child has been offered a place in his dream school. It was really icing on the cake as we received the good news on the eve of his birthday.

With so many things going on, it was hard to find time to do much baking. It was even more difficult to keep up with blogging.

Just when I thought my absence would be gone unnoticed, I received a warm comment from a well anonymous reader :) My heartfelt thanks to you for checking on me and my apologies for not updating my blog as regularly as I wanted.

A couple of days ago, I finally managed to squeeze in some time to bake this delicious Blueberry and White Chocolate chips coffee cake. In case you are as ignorant as me, there's no coffee in this coffee cake. The term coffee cake refers to a moist, tender cake that is served alongside coffee or tea during breakfast or anytime of the day. One of the characteristics of most coffee cake is the inclusion of either yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream in the batter. The cake is usually topped with some kind of streusel topping from a mixture of flour, sugar, and butter, or nuts, and sometimes various fruits may be added as well.

I followed the recipe from Baking Bites but adapted it to suit my baking pan, the ingredients I have on hand and reduced the sugar amount. The result was fabulous. I am not sure whether it was the 'drought' (the lack of homemade cakes for the past weeks), both my boys were all thumbs up after they took the first bite once I gave the go-ahead permission to cut up the cake.

The cake was surprisingly moist, tender and even tasted so buttery although I have cut down on the sugar (by at least 80g) and it doesn't calls for much butter. I guess the yoghurt has made wonders again. The blueberries was on the tart side, but the sweet white chocolate chips paired it off really well. You can't go wrong with sliced almonds as toppings, it lends so much fragrance and flavour to this simple and easy to put together cake.    

If you have the ingredients on hand, why not whip this up for your breakfast, tea or after dinner dessert? It will be a nice centre piece if you have guests coming over, and certainly great to bring for potlucks or gatherings during this festive seasons. I am quite certain it will be a crowd pleaser :)

Blueberry and White Chocolate Coffee Cake

(serves 8)

210g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
60g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
120g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 cup milk
50g (about 1/4 cup) white chocolate chips
80g (about 1/2 cup) blueberries
some sliced almonds
some granulated sugar or coarse sugar


  • Preheat oven to 180 degC.
  • Line base and side of a 7" round pan with parchment paper. (Note: The cake can also be baked in an 8" or 9" round pan, shorten the baking time to 40-45mins)
  • Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add the salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Stir yoghurt and milk together, set aside. (Note: I used 70g Marigold low fat plain yoghurt and combined with slightly more than 1/4 cup low fat fresh milk to yield 1 cup of yoghurt-milk mixture).
  • With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until the mixture turn light and flurry.
  • Add in egg and vanilla extract and beat till smooth. 
  • With a spatula, stir in half of the flour mixture.
  • Add the yoghurt-milk mixture, stir to combine (the mixture may appear lumpy at first, keep stirring till smooth). 
  • Add in the rest of the flour mixture.  Stir only until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Fold in blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, toss with some flour before using) and white chocolate chips to evenly distribute them. 
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. 
  • Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds and granulated coarse sugar.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes (if using bigger pan, shorten baking time to 40-45mins), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in pan for about 5 mins. Unmold and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe source: adapted from Baking Bites


Veronica said...

I am so happy for you that after all those hectic weeks and anxious waiting for your son's school offer, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Now you and your family can enjoy a stress-free Christmas. Oh yes, Congratulations to your son. And hope you have fully recovered by now.

Kimmy said...

Hi HHB, I can understand the roller coaster you were on. Me too with much to do, not exactly my own tasks but mostly helping my mum and mother in-law and quite a number of wedding receptions to attend. Haven't started preparing anything for the CNY. Thinking of it, is rather 'scary'. Seasons Greetings to you and family

Angie's Recipes said...

The cake looks perfectly moist and so beautiful as well. Happy happy holiday season!

The Experimental Cook said...

Glad everything turned out the way you wanted including this cake. Happy holidays!

Cuisine Paradise said...

Hi HHB, hope that you are in good shape now and congrats to your son for getting into his dream school. Times flies and in a few years time it will be my turn to take this roller coaster ride too.... :) Here wishing you and your family Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Lastly thanks for sharing this wonderful recipes. Going to make this for our mid-week breakfast :)

peiszong said...

I love reading your posts too. Keep it up and post more when you have time. :) Congratulations to your son. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

can help ps,i am no sure the exact amount of yogurt
used,,(u mention;3/4 cup) but u add the milk to make one cup,,
very blur,,hope u can share,,thanks
first time baker--

PH said...

Welcome back! Well, you survived after all the ups and downs and now you are ready to have a fresh start to the new year! Love your cake! Here's wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Veronica, thanks for your kind words :) I'm looking forward to a quiet and peaceful xmas :)

Kimmy, looks like you are having a busy time too. I am only half done with spring cleaning ;p Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Hi Angie, thank you for constantly giving me the pat on the shoulder. May you have a wonderful time this Christmas!

Happy Homebaker said...

The Experimental Cook, thanks! I'm truly blessed :):)

Ellena, hopefully by then it won't be so stressful for you and your child. Hope you like this recipe as much as I do. Happy holidays to you amd your dear ones!

Peiszong, thanks and may you and your family have a wonderful time this festive seasons!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi anonymous, the original recipe calls for 1 cup buttermilk. The substitute for 1 cup buttermilk is 3/4 cup yoghurt plus 1/4 cup milk. The yoghurt I used is slightly less than 3/4 cup so I just top up with more milk so that the yoghurt/milk mixture is 1 full cup. Hope you get what I mean and happy baking!

Happy Homebaker said...

Thanks Phong Hong, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

CY said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Good Day HHB

Wishing you and family A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR 2014.

Blessings and peace
Priscilla Poh

Happy Homebaker said...

CY, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Priscilla, Seasons Greetings to you and your family! Did you get the built in oven as Christmas present for yourself ? ;)

Vinitha said...

Just made this cake and loved the taste and texture!!! Amazing thanks for the recipe :-) Mine was quite crumbly is that how it is supposed to be?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Vinitha, mine wasn't crumbly. It could be due to your oven temperature, too hot? or you could have over baked it? The type of flour you used may also caused the cake to be dry and crumbly...try using cake flour instead. Hope this helps :)