Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Big Crumb Coffee Cake

In my never-ending quest to bake tasty breakfast goodies for Dan without getting bored by making the same thing too often, I decided to branch out into coffee cake. The one at Smitten Kitchen caught my attention because of the hefty proportion of crumb to cake; who wouldn't pick all the topping off the cake if they could? Rhubarb wasn't in season so I left it out, leaving a plain but tasty coffee cake.

Big Crumb Coffee Cake
via Smitten Kitchen


For the rhubarb filling:
  • 1/2 lb rhubarb, trimmed to 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
For the crumbs:
  • 1/3 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 c cake flour or regular flour
For the cake:
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c cake flour or regular flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 T butter, softened, cut into pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. Toss rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch and ginger and set aside.
  2. To make crumbs, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.
  3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.
  4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.
  5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Comments & Modifications:
  • As I mentioned above, I left out the rhubarb as it was out of season. However, a tart fruit such as blueberries or raspberries would have been lovely as a replacement, and they're more easily found frozen when out of season.

Verdict: This was good, but probably a bit too rich to make for Dan for breakfast very often. This would, however, be fantastic as a part of a fancy brunch.

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