Sunday, January 16, 2011

where oh where has my little grace gone..

You know that feeling when you walk away from something you love for what's supposed to only be a couple of weeks and the next thing you know months have passed and you haven't gone back? It's a terrible little nagging and guilting feeling, isn't it? Well, that's how I've been feeling. It seems like just yesterday I was happily updating my page with tasty recipes accompanied by badly lit photographs when in reality it's been about.. three months. THREE MONTHS! That's a lot more than "a couple of weeks". Shame on you Grace, shame. I do have a good excuse though...I started culinary school! Finally! After all this time of telling myself that I was going to pursue what I love, I am! I started the Patissiere and Baking AOS program at Le Cordon Bleu on Septermber 27th and I could not be more satisfied!  I've been in culinary as well as pastry classes these past twelve weeks and It's been beyond fantastic, but I really truly do not know where the time has gone. If you know, please tell me!

Currently I'm in academics which gives me a little bit of a break and more time to be in the kitchen at my house. I decided to get back on the "at home baking horse" this weekend and I went with small baby steps. I fingered through my recipe book and this buttermilk chocolate chip crumb cake was the winner. I've always been a fan of baking cakes with buttermilk. It helps bring out the flavors and the perfect moisture and richness to the texture. The crumb cake is super tasty and also sort of interesing, almost donught-y. By the way, does everyone agree that the top and sides of these kinds of cakes are always the best? The crispy baked brown sugar gets me goof each and every time.
I might have put a little too much powdered sugar.. to each his own :)

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crump Cake
Butter Crumb topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup cake flour
1 stick butter
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1½ eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips, for sprinkling on top of the cake
Powdered sugar, for sifting on top of the cake

1) Preheat oven to 375°F.
2) Lightly grease a 9×4 inch loaf pan, and line the inside of the pan with parchment paper or foil, and then great it as well.

To make the topping:
3) Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Drop in chunks of butter, using a table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla extract over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed. DO NOT overmix.
Mix the batter:
4) Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture in a small bowl.
5) Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.
6) Add in the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
7) Add in egg and beat.
Mix in the vanilla extract.
9) Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.
10) Stir in chocolate chips.
11) Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and spread evenly, smooth the top with rubber spatula.
12) Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.
13) Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
14) Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately. Let the cake cool completely. Use the parchment or foil to lift the cake out of the pan, then sift some powered sugar on top of the cake. Serve!

1 comment:

  1. Blogging needs momentum.
    Hard to pick up once you've lost it, but all is not lost if you have the determination.
    Welcome back!