I love warm rainy days in the spring and summer. I love the scent of lilacs. I love the smell of Fall. I love when someone brushes my hair. Are you gagging yet? Well you won’t be when I tell you what I love next.
I love streusel..lots and lots of streusel. Who doesn’t? I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t love streusel. However, I know plenty of people who hate the scent of lilacs, abhor rainy days, despise Fall because it’s the official end of summer, and can’t stand someone else brushing, much less touching, their hair.
When it comes to streusel, I go ga ga, but not ga ga enough to pull off chunks of it and leave the cake uneaten, like I’ve been known to do to NY Style Crumb Cake. If there’s a crumb cake near me, you better grab some quickly because I’ve mastered the art of pulling off the crumb layer in one, perfect sheet of lumpy goodness, with surgical precision.
With streusel, since it’s usually paired with a moist cake, I love the amalgam of the two, especially when there’s a strip of it running through the center of the cake, along with a good amount on top. Butter, flour, sugar, nut or oat crumb perfection. It must not ever be messed with, in my kooky world, that is.
How much of a difference is there between a crumble, crisp and streusel? Butter, flour, sugar, oats and/or nuts, right? Well, I’m pretty sure a ‘crumble’ doesn’t contain oats or nuts, but, hey – I’m just tossing out a random thought here, maybe some crumbles do (???).
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog of long time blog friend, Evelyne from Cheap Ethnic Eatz. I was excited because Evelyne is an extremely adventurous and daring cook, baker, dessert maker. I don’t think there is anything she won’t try. cook, bake, or dessert make. I literally marvel at her uniqueness and creativity. Check out her Waffle Brownies, Peanut Butter Daifukumochi Balls and Oyster Mushroom Shortbread Cookies!
SO, what did I do? I chose probably one of the least ‘adventurous’ goodies she has on her blog.
I’m such a wuss.
Once again, I love streusel, and I haven’t had anything with streusel in a long, long time, plus, I was going for a dessert this month. As I scrolled through her dessert category, I couldn’t help myself when I came upon this Blueberry Almond Streusel Cake. It wasn’t too hard of a decision since I was craving streusel ‘something’, but I also considered this gorgeous Tarte Tatin with Sage, Vanilla and Clove Infused Butter and Pistachio Galettes des Rois, BUT, in the end, and after much thought, the streusel cake won out.
I love how some of the batter rose up over the streusel.
Here are some changes I made to the recipe, well, mostly the streusel since I only switched out the fruit in the cake batter (I was going to use 1 cup of Greek yogurt instead of the cup of milk-sour cream mixture, but figured I’d made too many changes already). I browned the butter, subbed toasted pecans for the almonds, and used vanilla extract because of that. I also split the white sugar with brown sugar, but here’s the best part..I quadrupled the streusel.
Yes, I quadrupled the streusel and I like saying it. It’s been my mantra the past week – Quadruple the Streusel!
1/4 cup to 1 cup, 2 tablespoons to 8 tablespoons, 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon. It was very easy to quadruple. It begged to be quadrupled.
I ended up with about three cups of streusel. At first I was a little hesitant when I saw how much there was, but swore I was going to incorporate every bit of it into the cake batter – top to bottom. Considering this recipe uses a small amount of cake batter since it’s baked in one round or square 9-inch pan, I basically ended up with a cake that was half cake – half streusel. I could almost hear the booming call of a carnival side show barker as I sliced into the cake;
“Come look at this dessert oddity – half cake – half streusel!. Just pennies for a peek!”
The streusel in the center of the cake melted into the batter. I was a little disappointed because I’d hoped for a beautiful strip of streusel running through the center, but after one bite, my disappointment vanished. The cake was not only moist, but the brown butter/brown sugar flavor was amazing with the tart raspberries, bits of chocolate, and toasted pecans.
The ‘melted’ streusel within also gave the cake a pretty dark, golden hue. The majority of the streusel was baked on top of the batter and it did exactly what a streusel topping should do – crisped up to crumbly perfection. In my photos, you can see how far down into the cake some of it sunk..but it still remained crumbly/crispy.
Of course, there was a hitch. There’s always a hitch when I bake or cook, isn’t there? Most of the raspberries, coated with flour so they wouldn’t sink to the bottom..sunk. I have no doubt it had to do with the streusel weighing down the cake, but what’s a little aesthetic glitch when you get something this delicious? You still get ‘raspberry’ in most bites. Next time I’m going to try bluberries and see if they hold up a little better.
SO, because this cake is so loaded with streusel, I decided to call it Raspberry Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Streusel Crumb Cake or Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Streusel Crumb Cake with Raspberries instead of Raspberry Cake with Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Streusel. I think it’s apropos in this case.
I also made one cake using white chocolate, which was just as good, if not better, because I love white chocolate. You can see that one in the last photo after the recipe.
Finally, this cake is also great without any fruit! If you’d rather have more of a yellow cake, cut the streusel recipe in half or quarter it, then pile it on top of the cake batter, like the original recipe, linked above and right beneath the cake recipe, was written.
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate OR mini chocolate chips OR chopped white chocolate
- 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- 1 stick of butter, browned and then chilled until slightly solid
- 2 cups of flour - All-Purpose or Cake Flour..either is fine
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup butter (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon), melted and browned lightly
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream *
- ½ cup whole milk (low-fat is fine) *
- 1 cup chopped white or dark chocolate
- 2 cups raspberries or fruit of your choice, such as blueberries (optional)
- Brown the butter until golden amber like as shown in link in recipe, then transfer to a bowl, cover and chill until slightly solidified, about 30 to 45 minutes..an hour at the most. You still want it soft. Once chilled, combine all the ingredients for the streusel in a large bowl except the browned butter. Cut in the brown butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. You can do this with your fingers, a pastry cutter, a food processor (just pulse) or a stand mixer. Set the streusel aside until ready to use.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time until each is incorporated. In a glass measuring cup, stir together the sour cream and milk. While beating, start adding the flour mixure and sour cream-milk mixture, alternating..starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- In a medium bowl sprinkle about a ¼ to ½ cup of flour over the raspberries and shake until all the raspberries are coated. Dump the raspberries in a strainer and shake off the excess flour into a bowl and/or the garbage Do the same with the chocolate. Fold the raspberries and chocolate, gently, into the cake batter.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F..and lightly grease a round or square 9-inch pan. If making a round cake, I recommend a springform pan. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of whatever pan you're using. I also recommend placing a piece of parchment, cut to fit the bottom of whichever pan you're using, then greasing that lightly too. Scrape half the batter into the pan, then cover with 1 cup of the streusel. Scrape the remaining batter on top of the streusel and spread gently to cover. Top with the remaining streusel..pushing it down a bit to adhere.
- Place on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a skewer poked in the middle of the cake comes out clean..well, moist crumbs sticking to it is fine. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes. Run the back of a knife or an offset spatula around the cake to make sure it will release cleanly. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack. Slice it up and Enjoy!
If you get a chance, check out Evelyne’s blog, Cheap Ethnic Eatz for a treasure trove of amazing and wild recipes! Click on the blue frog below if you’d like to see what my fellow Group A SRC’ers made from their assigned blogs.
We have a winner ladies and gents! Random.org chose #127, which lands on Carmen!
Congratulations, Carmen, and thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad my rolls were an inspiration to get your hands back into some dough and/or batter. Sending you an email right now to get your info! Hope you enjoy the King Cake and Coffee as much as we did! If there is no response within 3 days, another winner will be chosen.