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Mario Batali’s Cherry Brown-Butter Coffee Cake

Serves 6 to 8

Chef’s Note: Browning the butter is the crucial step here—do not be afraid to take it to medium dark brown before removing the butter from the heat in the first step. It should smell like rich hazelnuts when you take it off the stove.

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups frozen tart cherries, thawed in the fridge

For the Topping

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, for serving

Preparation

For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  2. Place the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the foam subsides and the butter starts to look medium-brown at the bottom of the pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool, and place in fridge for 10 minutes to set up to the texture of softened butter.
  3. Combine the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and cooled brown butter in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until creamy. Add the yogurt, eggs, and the vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add 2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until well mixed. Drain the thawed cherries and reserve the liquid. In a medium bowl, mix the thawed cherries and the remaining N cup flour until the cherries are lightly coated, and set aside. Stir the reserved cherry liquid into the batter and mix through.
  4. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the cherry mixture over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the cherry filling, spreading it carefully to cover the filling completely.

For the Topping

  1. Combine the almond flour, dark brown sugar, hazelnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a food processor. Pulse quickly 5 or 6 times until the mixture has a bread crumb texture. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake batter.
  2. Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the topping is a dark golden brown. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and serve with Greek yogurt on the side.

Recipe from America Farm to Table, by Mario Batali. Copyright (c) 2014 by Mario Batali. Used with permission by Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.