Crummy Top—Strictly Streusel April 2, 2010
I’ve been putting our locally-grown, freshly ground Richardson Farms whole wheat flour through its paces lately. Here’s a quick cake composed of a slightly dense and chewy spongecake layer blanketed with an unreasonable heap of sweet, cinnamon-y crumbles. More streusel than substrate, crumb bums will appreciate this easy, tweedy whole grain goodie. For streusel fans only!
TEXAS MUFFIN TOP CAKE makes one 9″ round
- 1 stick organic butter, melted. I love Organic Valley. Click for a coupon.
- 4 3/8 ounces organic light brown sugar. Central Market’s brand usually costs less.
- 5¼ ounces Richardson Farms whole wheat flour. Sifting out the bran is optional.
- ¼ teaspoon salt. I use Real Salt.
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. I used my homemade Christmas gift from SouthAustinFoodie Adventures. Check out her foodie fun this week on the Anthony Bourdain trail.
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- zest of one Texas orange, optional
- 2 local eggs
- 200 grams turbinado sugar. I buy this in bulk at Central Market. Bring your own container and a staff member can tare the weight for you. We go through a lot of this—we always have homemade lemonade on hand—so I buy about three pounds at a time.
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 121 grams Richardson Farms whole wheat flour, most of the bran sifted out.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder. I use Rumford, aluminun-free and non-GMO.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup boiling water
Preheat your oven to 350°. You can melt the butter in the oven while it’s heating up. Combine the remaining streusel ingredients and stir them into the melted butter. Line a 9″ X 2″ round pan with a piece of waxed paper or parchment (I use If You Care brand) and butter the bottom, but not the sides.
Combine the eggs, turdinado sugar and salt in a mixer bowl and begin whipping (with the whip attachment if using your stand mixer, which I recommend) at low speed. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high. You’re starting the eggs and sugar out slowly to give the sugar a chance to dissolve. It won’t liquefy completely, however. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Get your water heating up. I use the microwave. It’s fast and energy efficient.
When the eggs look very light and fluffy and fall back into the bowl in ribbons that take a moment to dissolve when the beater is lifted, gently add the flour and quickly whisk it in. Pour in the boiling water and quickly and gently whisk it in to achieve a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan right away. Working quickly, squeeze handfuls of streusel into clumps and distribute them in chunks over the batter, moving from the outside to the center. You don’t want the middle of the cake to be too heavily laden with topping so be more generous around the perimeter.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake portion tests done in the center. The lava-like batter will erupt magmaticaly, creating a sweetly fissured surface. Never mind the cratered face, she’s tastes like a beauty!
Texas Velvet Biscuit Cake March 28, 2010
Back to baking! With the reintroduction of beans into our diet after last week’s brush with death (well that’s what it felt like, anyways), and it being Sunday and coolish, I decided that biscuits were in order. And honey.
This super easy recipe combines local Richardson Farms fresh ground whole wheat flour with a softer flour from King Arthur for a fluffy and super-light texture that soaks up a hive of honey. So comb your cupboards and nectar nooks for the bee sap to enjoy this mound melligenously. Yeah, that’s right. I made up an adverb.
TEXAS VELVET BISCUIT CAKE makes a 9″ round of 6 (sort of) large biscuits
- 1 stick of organic butter, softened. Organic Valley of course. Click for a coupon.
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) best quality local lard, such as Dai Due, softened
- 6½ ounces Richardson Farms whole wheat flour, most of the bran sifted out
- 7 ounces King Arthur unbleached cake flour blend. Central Market sells the 2-pound box for $3.49.
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder, sieved. I use Rumford, non-GMO and aluminum-free.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda, sieved
- 1 teaspoon salt. I like Real Salt.
- 1¼ cups yogurt. I make my own from local goat milk (Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm). Click for instructions.
Combine the dry ingredients in your food processor and whirl until mixed. Add the butter and lard and process until the mixture looks mealy. You’re not going for flaky here so do blend the fat in well. Turn the flour out into a bowl and stir in the yogurt with a fork until well blended. Using a greased ½-cup measure or spring-loaded scoop (best), scoop out six heaping ½-cup portions and place them in a buttered 9″ round pan (1½” to 2″ high). You’ll get five biscuits around the perimeter and one in the middle.
Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and well-risen. Let the biscuits cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning them out. Use a fork to pull the biscuits apart (they’ll have coalesced) and split them for honeyin’.
Spring cleaning, interrupted. Not much accomplished around the house last week—I definitely fell behind in my efforts to clear out last year’s (last decade’s!) old food. When my appetite recovered, the first treat I wanted to enjoy-up was that opened pint of Organic Valley heavy cream. So I baked some gingerbread as an excuse to rest under a dollop. Read into that what you will, but this here unrefined cake comes out just coarse enough to luxuriate in a slumming slap of whoop cream (Forgive me. I’ve been out of commission.) Lightly sweetened with a bit of turbinado and aromatized with Maker’s Mark-based homemade vanilla extract, my chantilly made a dainty lady out of a wholesome dessert.
TEXAS ENOUGH GINGERBREAD makes one 11″ X 7″ panful
- 2½ ounces (5 Tablespoons) organic butter, softened. I love Organic Valley. Click for a coupon.
- ½ teaspoon salt. I use Real Salt.
- 1 heaping Tablespoon grated fresh domestic organic ginger root (don’t bother to peel it), or 1½ teaspoons ground dried ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- fresh zest of a Texas lemon or orange, optional
- 1/3 cup local honey. Good Flow‘s my standard brand. We can enjoy so many yummy hunnys in Central Texas!
- 2/3 cup cane syrup. Fain’s or Steen’s. Or you can use molasses.
- 1 local egg
- 242 grams Richardson Farms whole wheat flour, most of the bran sifted out
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, sieved
- ¾ cup local milk. I like goat milk from Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm.
Cream the butter, salt, fresh ginger, ground spices and zest, if using . Beat in the egg. Beat in the honey and syrup. Combine the flour and baking soda and mix into the batter in two additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 11″ X 7″ pan (old-fashioned brownie pan size) and bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake tests done.
I like to serve gingerbread warm with whoop cream, but the spices get to know each other, given some time, and the cake tastes even better the next day.
Cosmic Cowgirl Confers Confiture–Cake it! January 19, 2010
At a recent yummy gathering of food and folks, local food blogger cosmic cowgirl bestowed gem-like jars of jewel-toned Texas red grapefruit marmalade on lucky lingerers. That’s right, my favorite fruit, finely preserved. You know where my booty went—right into a cake!
Check out cosmic cowgirl’s step-by-step illustrated instructions and stretch the local bounty with cannin’ in your canon.
Bake a cake as for the Bonus recipe in my “Quick Coffee Cake and Bonus” post. Split the cooled cake into two layers and spread a great local or homemade jam in between. For this grapefruit version, I glazed my gateau with a simple blend of Texas red grapefruit juice and organic powdered sugar (look for Central Market’s brand for the best value) with a touch of vanilla extract.
Local sweet’s the sweetest!