My grandfather was the one that always answered the phone. There was a routine to our 3-minute conversations. He called me “Reeebecca”. He smiled through the phone and you could picture him in his beige cardigan, standing in the dark kitchen of the condo and holding the old phone. He laughed out loud. Frequently.
He tried everything I made no matter what. He’d ask what I had created and then that’s the food he put on his plate. Once, he couldn’t get enough of the coffee cake I made at a brunch. Through high school and then when I’d come home from college, I’d make the cake and bring a tray of it over to the condo. He liked each piece with butter.
Six years after he has gone, I’ve made a platter for Grandpa Lou. I wanted it to be exactly the same as he (hopefully) remembered, so I found a cup-for-cup flour and used it. I made this recipe a couple of times just to be sure it worked. It isn’t exactly the same, but it is definitely tasty and my non-gluten free friends enjoyed it too. If he were still here, I would make a whole tray for him again and I would take it over to the condo to sit and eat with him.
The recipe is originally from the Café Beaujolais Cookbook . I’ve been making this since I was a child and over the years I have adapted some things. So here’s my version made gluten free.
Café Beaujolais Coffee Cake
2 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Domata)*
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 cup yogurt*
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan.
Mix together the GF flour, salt, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, ginger, and sugars. Mix and break up any lumps. Add the oil and mix. Remove 3/4 cup of this mixture and to it add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and the nuts. Set aside.
To the remaining flour mixture, add the baking soda and baking powder and mix well. Add the egg and yogurt and mix.
Pour the batter into the pan. The gluten free flour made it slightly harder to “pour”, so use a spatula and spread the batter out to reach the ends of the pan. It will be just 1-2 inches thick (it puffs up quite a bit). Sprinkle the walnut mixture over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes.
*If you use a thicker yogurt, like a Greek yogurt, add 2 Tablespoons milk or milk substitute.