Monday, June 27, 2011

Nut-Free Raspberry Streussel Coffee Cake

Of the many ways to replace nuts in recipes, I've been trying out the use of finely ground porridge oats with a few drops of oil. While toasted coconut also works well, the oatmeal will provide the lightness of nuts with a somewhat neutral flavour. It won't work for everything of course, but in a streussel sort of application, it does the trick.

The original recipe called for apples, and cinnamon, and chopped walnuts. I know what you're thinking, but I have so much confidence in Rose Levy Beranbaum's ability to come up with fantastic cake recipes that I guessed the basic coffee cake recipe would adapt well. I was correct in my assumption. Let's face it, with six egg yolks, three sticks of butter, and a cup of sour cream there was no way this cake was going to be anything other than delicious. And fattening. I should mention that a 9x13 tray of really rich coffee cake is more than three people need, so the rest is going to work with Mr. ETB in the morning. Sometimes I wonder how much weight his co workers have gained since he started working there? Anyhoo, this cake is dangerous, so you should avoid that, "just a tiny sliver" routine people do with cake because...well come on, do I really need to beat the point to death with a stick (or three) of butter? Share your cake, then everyone can be happy (and fat).

So here's some excitement in my otherwise boring country-mouse kind of life-the mixer started smoking as I made this. No flames, but the hand mixer emitted smoke. As I had just invested a shit load of expensive butter, sour cream, and cake flour there was no way i was going to let a smoking hand mixer ruin my ingredients. I quickly dislodged the beaters, scraped off the batter, and ran outside with the mixer in the event it was destined to burst into flames. I could just see being horribly disfigured by an exploding hand mixer, the way the Universe seems to have a warped sense of humour. Anyway, as I went outside, I saw a very sad looking border collie, soaking wet, caked with mud, and lingering around my back door. He didn't have tags, and his fur was really matted. He looked at me, it was so heartbreaking, as if to say, "Come on lady, the other dog is gone, help me out." but then turned and ran off towards the rubbish pit. Damn it, this is the second dog in as many weeks roaming the farm. People seem to like our county road as a place to abandon dogs they no longer wish to take care of (they run out of money, dogs get sick, have to move, etc.) How anyone could just drop them on the side of the road is beyond me, but it happens so much I have accepted it as the norm for these parts. I tossed some, "extra good" scraps out with the trash tonight-hopefully he'll get to them before the feral cats that roam the pit.

Last weekend, we had a Longhorn in the yard. Now, we knew that didn't belong to our neighbour, but Mr. ETB gave him a call anyway, you know, in case he took up hobbyist ranching or something. Turns out it belongs to someone down one of the side roads. Okay. A Longhorn. Running around loose in the yard. I'd say something to the effect of, "now I've seen it all" except I know I haven't.

All right, here's the wonderful, fattening, coffee cake that I can't be responsible for if you devour it all by the end of the day. Plan accordingly. Use your hand mixer on low gear as well.

You Will Need:

12 ounces fresh raspberries
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger, divided
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cups quick oats
6 large egg yolks (just freeze the whites for an angel food or meringues)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature

Grease and flour a 9X13 pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, toss the berries with 1/2 teaspoon of the ginger. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, and remaining ginger. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla. Blend well. Set aside.

In a large bowl (finally!) Stir together the cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and half the egg mixture. Beat at medium high (at your mixer's peril) for 1 minute, scraping down the sides. Add remaining egg mixture in three parts, scraping down the sides and beating for 20 seconds after each addition (That's what I was thinking too-but are you gonna question Rose? Neither am I . 20 second intervals it is).

Fold in raspberry mixture carefully. Spoon half into the bottom of the pan, spreading smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle on half of the streussel, then remaining batter. Top with remaining streussel.

Bake 35 minutes (mine too closer to 45) or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in centre, and a tester comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in pan on a rack. Cut squares directly from pan.

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