If you’re looking for a wholemeal cake recipe, I tried out this Whole Wheat Coffee Cake from Bob’s Red Mill today. There’s no coffee in it at all, so I guess the name refers to the fact that it goes well with a cup of coffee, which is what is described here. The end result was excellent – extremely light and fluffy.
I modified the recipe by keeping it plain – I omitted the filling/topping of brown sugar + cinnamon + pecan nuts. So the ingredients were just wholemeal wheat flour, wheat germ, eggs, (butter)milk, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, vanilla essence, baking powder and baking soda.
Also reduced the amount of sugar by cutting out the filling/topping, and reducing sugar in the main recipe to 3/4 cup. The result is just right.
Buttermilk is very expensive to buy so I used this substitute recipe: 1 cup (240 ml) milk + 1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar. The acidic buttermilk reacts with baking soda to produce a leavening effect, which baking soda+cream of tartar also does. Read my earlier post about leavening agents.
The instructions don’t really go into details about this but I deduced that the butter and sugar should be creamed before adding the eggs and vanilla essence. I remember the mistakes I made when making Banana Cake, so I was careful to add the eggs only a little bit at a time and ensure each bit was well mixed in. Having recently acquired the book Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America and read the section on creaming, I tried to cream the mixture thoroughly to incorporate plenty of air. As I mentioned, the texture of the cake turned out fabulous so my efforts at doing the creaming properly paid off. [However, this article says that coffee cakes are usually made by the muffin method: wet ingredients + dry ingredients, mixed till just blended, which isn't what the Bob's Red Mill recipe instructed.]
Finally, instead of baking it in a loaf shape, which would have sucked up 55 mins of power to run the oven, I scooped the mixture into 24 paper cases and they were done in just 20 mins.