Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's All About the Crumbs

I know it's early and the produce has not even begun to come into full abundance, but early every season we get a little sneak peek of the of the goodness to come...

Oh joy.  Produce is happiness.  And on the opposite end of the spectrum, so is a great crumb cake.  I'm a sucker for a big fat, brown sugary and buttery crumb.  Put the two together and you have perfection?  Let's find out.

The secret to getting those big fat Starbucks crumbcake crumbs is to melt the butter first and add the spices and sugar.  Mix thoroughly before adding the flour to make a "dough."

The verdict?  Perfection indeed. 

Rhubarb Crumb Coffeecake
adapted from NY Times

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup  granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups  flour

Rhubarb filling:
1 1/2 cup diced rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tbsp butter, softened and cut intopieces.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8-inch-square baking pan.
2. Slice rhubarb and set aside
3. For crumb topping: in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Add flour and stir.
3. For the cake stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, 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.  Spread batter (minus reserved 1/2 cup) in prepared pan.
5. Toss sliced rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch, ginger and cinnamon.  Spread on top of batter.
6. Dallop reserved batter on top of rhubarb-it will not cover completely.
7. Break topping mixture into big crumbs and sprinkle over cake.
8. 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.

And rhubarb ins't the only thing timed for a spring arrival--apparently this is the perfect time for babies to pop out as well. With a couple of coworkers and 3 family members all having babies within a one month period, it's been busy.  My very own dear sister is one of those and pretty soon there will be some additional niece pictures to broaden the "family" photo genre beyond Peanut photos.

I did however get to meet my cousin's little one this past weekend. Look how smooshy and handsome he is...


Leslie said...

oh Mary...this coffee cake looks so so good! i now need to have a reason to make it, so that i can share it with people other than my family.

and this little man is so adorable.

Colleen said...

Yum! I love rhubarb. Saw some at the farmers market the other day, but didn't get any. I'll have to get some this week.

That baby is precious! I love the sepia toned shot... gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

cuuuuuttttie. i saw the others on rachel's facebook as well.love them all and the cake looks good too!