Was there ever a person more deserving of sainthood than the person who first thought up coffee cake? Really, this is pure genius. Take a simple snack cake and replace the word “snack” with “coffee.” Voila! You now have a cake that is acceptable to eat for breakfast. Vanquished are the voices that say “Cake for lunch or cake for dinner, but never cake for breakfast.”
Sainthood, I tell you. Sometimes the best healing medicine is to embrace the good life and eat your cake first. Especially if you’ve had a bumpy week . . . and it seems that a good many of us have had some bumpy weeks in the past all-together rocky year. So this is my simplistic prescription: cake for breakfast. If you are lucky, and you pick the right cake, this sweet indulgence may have the added benefit of nostalgically transporting you to a place, time, or person that further soothes or inspires. Food has a way of doing that.
I’ve been considering cake lately. I considered making a chocolate stout cake yesterday, but it just seemed too much. Something simple, I thought. And then I thought of pears, but not pears really, rather Poire Williams– the wonderful pear brandy, and the jam inspired by that pear brandy, that we always found on grocers’ shelves in Europe. (On German shelves, it was Williams Birne.) Oh, that was lovely stuff. It’s considerably harder to find those jams in the States.
I found a decent pear jam the other day- humble, but slightly rustic and not overly sweet. Today, I felt inspired to do a mash-up– coffee cake and pear jam. (I’ll link to the recipe below.) It’s simple. It’s rustic. It sits well with a cup of coffee, and it’s cake for breakfast. The fact that it reminds me of Poire Williams Eau de Vie and days spent in Europe . . . that’s just the glorious icing on a icing-less cake.
Bon appetit, my friends!