What's Going on Today: After all the packing... we are finally unpacking.
Naptime Goals: Unpack the kitchen (my top priority, obviously!)
Tonight's Menu: Take-out from the mexican place up the street we can't wait to try.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Sometime change is good, even for kids.
So, we've moved. It was a stressful, chaotic event, just like all moves are, but we've done it. Needless to say we are beyond thrilled that everything worked out and are very grateful to our pals at Moishe's for taking good care of us.
Since I am busy unpacking boxes today I am posting a Webisode I shot last week for my favorite seasonal Big Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake. As you know, I freeze rhubarb at the end of each summer so that I can enjoy it year round. Last week I was busy cleaning out the freezer and making sure no good food went to waste. This meant thawing and using up my last bag of rhubarb from summer 2009. This was actually good timing since we have just begun rhubarb season in the Northeast. My mother has reported that the plants in Cooperstown have started budding. We should have our first stalks in a couple of weeks.
As you'll see, I made this delicious cake while my daughter napped in the afternoon then we ate it the next morning for breakfast. It lasted us for a few days which was perfect since I let everything else in our pantry run out, including our usual selection of cereal and oatmeal. It's longevity on the counter also makes it great for entertaining. It can easily be made 1-2 days ahead of time for a brunch or breakfast.
I've baked a lot of coffee cakes in my life and this one, I think, is the absolute best. The cake is moist and creamy but doesn't overshadow the sweet flavor of the rhubarb. I also love the large sugar crumbs on top, they add just the right amount of crunch on top of the vegetable layer. I hope you all get a chance to make it this season and love it as much as we do.
I'll be back next week with reports from the new kitchen. And, yes, my daughter loves her new - much larger - bedroom and is taking nice, long afternoon naps as always.
Big Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake
adapted from the New York Times, June 2007
1/2 lb rhubarb, washed and cut into 1" squares
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. cornstartch
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
Pinch Kosher salt
1/2 c. melted butter
1 3/4 c. cake flour (like Swan's Down or similar)
1/3 c. sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. cake flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. Kosher salt
6 T. butter, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter and flour an 8" square baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.
3. Make the crumbs by placing sugar, spices, salt, butter and flour in a bowl. Using clean hands, pinch the ingredients together until they form a solid dough but is still a bit crumbly. Set aside.
4. To make the cake, in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the sour cream, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and butter. Then, in a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture bit by bit until it is totally incorporated, but not overbeaten. The mixture should be totally smooth and slightly sticky.
5. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the greased 8" baking pan and pat it down evenly. Distribute the rhubarb over the top in one single layer. Dollop the remaining cake batter over the rhubarb in a few spoonfuls and make sure it is somewhat even.
6. Using clean hands, crumble the large crumb dough over the top of the dough. The chunks should be anywhere from 1/2" to 3/4" in size. The whole cake should be completely covered. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and serve.
Naptime Recipe Variations and Ideas: I've never tried this with any other berry but I bet it would be great with blueberries or blackberries. This cake is fantastic for entertaining and would be perfect to serve on a buffet table for brunch.
Naptime Stopwatch: Making this cake takes about 45 minutes, plus baking time.
Naptime Reviews: My daughter is slowly becoming a rhubarb fan and loves this cake as much as we do.