Monday, October 25, 2010

RLB's Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake

Inspired by all the wonderful goods I'm baking for the Baker's Market this Saturday (butter count is up to 4 pounds so far!), I'm breaking from the unusual amount of healthy crap I've posted lately with something significantly back to normal: RLB's Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake.
This recipe was a big step for me because I have this... thing... about condiments.  They are gross.  So effing gross.  Over the years I've been able to come to terms with some of them, namely certain salad dressings.  Ketchup and mustard are acceptable ingredients in some recipes.  Consuming any of these, however, takes a bit of mental preparation beforehand.

Mayonnaise can jump off a cliff and die, though.  It is so repulsive I want to vomit thinking about it.  It's not allowed in my house, and if I'm-- god forbid-- visiting somewhere and something I need in the fridge is behind it I have three options: 1) abort the mission and don't bother getting what I want; 2) grab a stick/knife/ruler/long object and use it to move the mayo jar out of the way, so the item can be safely grabbed; or 3) move the mayo jar with my hand, and either douse said hand in bleach or ammonia or gasoline or just cut the damn thing off.  Regardless of which method I choose (and I've yet to choose the third) I'll be considerably concerned for the rest of the day that somehow airborn mayonnaise particles have penetrated what I just ate.

So we've established that I'm crazy.

That out of the way, I've recently come to terms that sour cream is not (like mayonnaise) the devil, and sometimes it tastes good in baking.  Deep breath.  Because of this, and a conscious effort on my part to get over myself just a little bit, I had picked up some sour cream from Costco a few weeks ago, thinking of all the recipes I kept finding and not being able to make because I lacked some.  It sat in my fridge until the day before it expired, isolated from all the other food products.

I finally buckled, not wanting to waste, and made RLB's Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake.  RLB recommends this recipe be made in a bundt pan, but sadly, I don't have one yet.  But she also suggests the recipe can be made into cupcakes, and RLB's word is truth, so I wasn't about to pass these up just because they wouldn't be in a beautiful uniform bundt shape.  

The cake was incredibly light and fluffy, and the filling was the perfect hint of cinnamon chocolate.  One of my favourites from Heavenly Cakes so far!  So good I completely forgot about the sour cream... issue.
If you haven't picked up a copy of Rose's Heavenly Cakes, I highly recommend it.  Each recipe from this book is divine; I've yet to find a bad one.  

Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake
adapted from 
Rose's Heavenly Cakes

Chocolate streusel filling
3 tbsp/40g light brown sugar
2 tbsp + 1.5 tsp/ 12g sifted unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended.

Cake batter
1 3/4 cups / 200g sifted bleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 + 1/8tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp/ 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup/ 200g granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup/ 242g sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350F and coat a tube pan with baking spray with flour.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter on medium high speed for one minute. Slowly add in the sugar. Beat until the mixture looks pale and fluffy, about another 4 minutes.

With the mixer off,pour in the eggs mixture and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that all the ingredients are well combined. Beat with medium speed until mixture is well blended. Scape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add flour mixture in 3 parts on low speed and alternate with the sour cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. When adding the last part of the flour mixture, make sure to just mix until well blended, which is at the point when you don't see a trace of flour in the batter. Overmixing will result in a tough and dense cake.

Spoon half of the batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle the chocolate streusel filling evenly in the middle, forming a ring, and avoid the inner and outer edges of the pan. Spoon the remaining cake batter on top, and spread it evenly.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the cake just begin to come away from the sides of the pan. you can also test the doneness with a cake tester/skewer. The cake is done when the tester/skewer comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. With a small metal spatula, gently loosen the edges of the cake and invert it onto a lightly greased wire rack. Cool completely.


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