You know what the perfect accompaniment to a super cold Boston day is? A good friend, a hot cup of tea, and a piece of this coffee cake. Particularly if you've spent the afternoon baking it together.
I love the smell and flavor of sage. It's one of those herbs I never really ate before, for some reason. It wasn't until I tried Republic of Tea's Blackberry Sage tea that I even knew what it tasted like. And after that? I was hooked.
I think sage is a lovely complement to blackberries, and so when my friend Kate showed up at my door with a bag of fresh blackberries, ready for an adventure in gluten-free baking, we decided we'd try our hand at inventing a blackberry coffee cake. And all it took for her was one whiff of my jar of ground sage to convince her that it needed to be part of our recipe.
So we pulled out my trusted copy of Ruhlman's Ratio and got to work using the ratio for sponge cake. 1:1:1:1 (fat : egg : flour : sugar). "Should we substitute applesauce for part of the fat?" I asked Kate, holding a stick of butter. "Yes," she said, nodding. "Then we can eat more of it and not feel guilty."
Great minds think alike.
Trust me, you'll be glad you built in a guilt-free way to eat more of this cake. It is heavenly! The only thing I might change is to chop the blackberries or add more of them so they were more evenly dispersed throughout the cake. But the flavor was still wonderful, the soft of sage spreading across my tongue - but not overpowering it - and the blackberries melting in my mouth.
Divine. You won't be sorry, trust me. (Unless you hate sage. Then you might be sorry.)
Blackberry Sage Coffee Cake
Makes a 9x13 coffee cake
4 oz. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
4 oz. smooth applesauce
8 oz. white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2.5 oz. sorghum flour
2.5 oz. brown rice flour
3 oz. tapioca starch
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
2 - 3 tsp. ground sage (depending on how strong you want the flavor to be)
1 cup blackberries, chopped into small pieces if desired
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup brown rice flour
2 tbsp. melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp. ground sage
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a cake pan with cooking spray.
Cream together the butter, applesauce, and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate, then the vanilla and lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add bit by bit to the wet ingredients, mixing well.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth with a spatula. Press the blackberries into the dough, spacing evenly. You can leave them whole, or cut them into smaller pieces for more even consistency.
Place in the oven. Assemble the crumble topping. After 20 minutes of baking, as quickly as you can, open the oven and sprinkle the crumble topping over the cake as evenly as possible. Continue to bake for anohter 15 - 30 minutes, or just until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool completely before serving.