Monday, January 19, 2015

In America, there is no coffee in coffee cake

There is no coffee in American coffee cake. That's right. You read it correctly. There is no coffee in American coffee cake.

Our stylish friend and neighbour, who happens to be a great cook, sent a holiday card this year with a coffee cake recipe on it. Although I knew it was a much loved family recipe, and was assured it was delicious, I didn't rush to make it. The thing is, I'm not a huge fan of coffee cake. By which I mean coffee flavoured cake, of course.

Then I read the recipe. No mention of coffee. 'Oh, how embarrassing,' I thought. 'She missed out the main ingredient.'

But she's quite switched on, this friend. Not the sort of person to miss out a recipe ingredient. So I read the recipe again, more carefully this time. It almost seemed like it didn't need coffee. It sounded like a delicious, buttery, sugary cake, with honey and nuts.

'That's right,' said TLOML. 'There's no coffee in coffee cake.'

My turn to be embarrassed. Schooled, and salivating, I made the cake.
Readers, it was delicious.

But why is it called a coffee cake? TLOML tells me it is so-named because it's a cake designed to be eaten with coffee. I scoffed, until he pointed out my love of a nice Yorkshire tea cake. Which doesn't have tea in it at all. Touche.

For what it's worth, I ate it with coffee, with tea, and just standing up at the kitchen counter without a drink at all.