Hazelnut, Pear, and Brown Butter Coffee Cake

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This is an autumnal version of the classic coffee crumb cake. The brown butter cake is topped with a crunchy hazelnut, raw sugar, and cinnamon streusel and juicy pear slices.

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HAZELNUT, PEAR, and BROWN BUTTER COFFEE CAKE

Ingredients

Hazelnut Streusel

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  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter; diced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Brown Butter Pear Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter; divided
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2-3 small ripe pears; halved, cored and thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and butter a 9 inch springform pan. 

hazelnut streusel : In a small bowl mix together the diced butter, flour, sugars, salt and cinnamon with your fingers or a fork until it forms large crumbs. Then, mix in hazelnuts. Put the streusel mixure in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the cake.

brown butter pear coffee cake : In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter. As, the butter melts and begins to bubble, the milk solids will rise to the top. Continue to cook the butter until the milk solids turn brown, fall to the bottom and begins to have a nutty aroma. Keep a watchful eye and be careful not to burn the butter. 

Remove the butter from the heat and pour into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and let cool while you gather the remaining ingredients. 

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. 

Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the brown butter, the reserved 2 tablespoons of butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

Hazelnut, Pear, and Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Add the eggs to the butter mixture and mix until light and fluffy.Then, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk. Starting and ending with flour and beating until just combined. 

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and arrange the pear slices in fans atop the batter. Remove the streusel from the freezer and use a fork to break it into crumbs. Then, sprinkle over the top of the cake leaving the pear slice fans exposed. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove the side from the cake. 

I dusted the top of my cake with a mix of powder sugar and dutch processed cocoa for a final touch. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature but I prefer it warm. 

 

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Hazelnut, Pear, and Brown Butter Coffee Cake
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