I want to live in Maine. In a house on the coast, with dark wood everywhere. Right on the water, where the wind in the winter howls outside and everyone huddles under blankets while they snuggle on the couch. And there’s an old wood stove in the middle of the living room, and built in book shelves and bunk beds in the babies room. Outside are maple trees where we tap our own syrup(do they do that in Maine?) and in the summer there are rows and rows of blueberries. And our babe runs free on the beach in the summer sun, while we eat lobster rolls(wait, I’ve never even had lobster) and drink wine. We get up with the sun to drive into town where we run a small bakery, making loaves of rustic bread and sweets for the fishermen and tourists. Our days are long, but filled with bliss.Ok so maybe not Maine, I do love Wisconsin so, but everything else about that little dream sounds lovely. This time of year I tend to find my mind running wild with dreams like this. I think it’s the impending spring time, which in a way I sort of loathe. The melting brown dirty snow, that takes soooo long to disappear, the mud that seems to linger everywhere, and the temperatures that hint, it’s time to play outside, but not just yet. So I make myself baked goods that take me somewhere else. Usually involving strawberries.
This year I made a coffee cake. It’s so much more then just a coffee cake. It’s a strawberry brown butter cream coffee cake. And it’s remotely healthy! I took the idea of a soft coffee cake, with crumbly topping and tres leches cake and came of with this. It’s low in sugar and made with white whole wheat flour, so the cake it self has an almost salty bite. It’s bursting with strawberries and lush and moist from the cream. It may not be a house in Maine, but it’s a lovely reminder of spring time on a freezing Wisconsin morning.
A note on this recipe: if you would like a slightly sweeter cake add 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar to the butter before mixing with the milk and eggs.
For the cake:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cup diced strawberries
For the topping:
3 tablespoons cold butter, diced
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small cake or loaf pan. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Butter will begin to bubble and foam, and spit. Brown flecks will begin to appear, once the bottom of the pan is covered in specks and the butter is golden in color, remove from heat. Scape the bottom on the pan, and transfer butter to a glass to cool.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking power, baking soda and salt. In another bowl combine milk, egg and yolk, vanilla and honey. Add the melted butter to the milk. Mix dry ingredients with wet and add strawberries. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Make topping: combine butter, sugar and flour until mixture is crumbly. Remove cake from oven. Using a small wooden skewer poke numerous holes in surface of cake, pour cream over cake. Cover with crumb topping. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn on broil for 1 minute to brown topping. Cool completely before removing from pan.