Friday, November 25, 2011

Cinnamon Streusel Coffeecake

Assemble your ingredients.
So it's Thanksgiving, and there is no turkey in my kitchen. This is actually ok. There was an easy, lovely brunch with some very close friends. The Tall Acoustician spread newspaper all over the kitchen counter and floor and made bacon and pancakes. Turns out this was actually a necessary (and remarkably effective) prophylactic measure against bacon spatter and pancake batter (and he probably should have wrapped himself with newspaper as well). There was cheesy, mushroomy quiche. Savory bite-sized sausage balls. Sweet mimosas and bloody marys with sour okra pickles. Spicy cake. This cake. Later on, there was a small dinner with more dear friends, followed by a late-night adventure with Miss V wherein we failed an attempt at scoring me a Black Friday midnight TV at the Best Buy, then failed again at the Wal-Mart. Which is probably all to the good, since if I had a television I would probably never get out of my pajamas or leave the house.

I did not miss out on any holiday traditions today, and it was wonderful to have both the delicious meals, and the good friends who prepared them. The Physicist and her Kitchen are still in a state of flux, and I don't know which way the plot twists next. Well, none of us ever really does. I am just very, very thankful that I have so much love and so much support from such amazing friends. And cake. I am thankful for this cake.

Assemble your cake.
What You Need
  • 110g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 110g (½ cup) light brown sugar
  • 125g (1cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp cinnamon
  • 113g (½ cup, 1 stick) cold butter
  • 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 113g (½ cup, 1 stick) room-temperature butter
  • 220g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 250ml (1 cup) sour cream
  • 80ml (⅓ cup) buttermilk
Summon your appetite.
What You Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x13 rectangular cake pan.
  2. Make the streusel: Combine the granulated and brown sugars, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or two forks) until the mixture is in coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  4. Make the cake: Sift or mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Use the stand mixer to combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. At lower speed, add the sour cream. When combined, gradually add the flour. If the mixture seems very stiff, add a few tablespoons (up to about ⅓ cup) of buttermilk. The batter should be thick, but not stiff.
  8. Spread half of thebatter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle evenly with half of the streusel mixture.
  9. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the crumbs. Wet your (clean!) finger to smooth the batter without uncovering the crumb filling, then sprinkle the rest of the streusel over the top.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester pulls cleanly. Cool in the pan. Serve warm. With coffee. It's coffeecake.
What You Eat
This 9x13 cake can easily be cut into 16 pieces, but I foolishly cut it into 15. Then ate a whole piece. Several cooler heads wisely halved their large pieces, then only ate half. I have no idea how to exercise that much restraint. A generous piece will cost you:
Calories 354 Protein 4.1g Vitamin B6 1.8%
Fat 16g Vitamin A 10% Folate 13%
Saturated Fat 9.8g Vitamin C 0.33% Vitamin B12 2.3%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.82g Calcium 4.4% Pantothenic Acid 3.0%
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2g Iron 7.8% Phosphorus 6.6%
Cholesterol 65mg Vitamin D 4.2% Magnesium 2.4%
Sodium 137mg Vitamin E 2.8% Zinc 2.4%
Potassium 81mg Thiamin 14% Copper 2.5%
Carbohydrate 49g Riboflavin 12% Selenium 16%
Fiber 0.87g Niacin 7.6% Manganese 12%
Sugars 30g

What You Learn
Summon your friends.
  • The reference recipes (Leite's and Martha's) are almost identical with respect to cake. I am a little crazy about streusel, so my recipe makes a lot more.
  • The reference recipes also make the cake in a smaller pan (9" round). My cake is not as thick, and bakes more quickly. Which is also why I need a ton more streusel, to cover all that extra surface area. This is a bit too much batter for an 8x8, and your 9" round needs to be deep.
  • The reference recipes use less cinnamon. Use your judgement. I would have used 3 full teaspoons, but you might not be as crazy about spice as I am. In fact, next time I will probably use some chinese five spice powder as well.
  • One of the reference recipes (Martha's) also drizzles icing over the finished cake. This cake is plenty sweet. It does not really require any additional icing, but if you think it makes the cake prettier, the Culinary Arts Committee for Appropriate Coffeecake Adornment will probably not cite you for Excessive Use of Icing.

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