February 4, 2010

Pink Celery BIG Crumb Cake

Got your attention, didn't I? Pink celery indeed! It's actually rhubarb, which looks exactly like pink celery. I think that's why a lot of people avoid it in baking, because it looks like a vegetable. And really, who wants a cake or a pie filled with celery? I'd never had rhubarb in anything until a few years ago, but after that first tangy bite, I was hooked. If you've been afraid of rhubard, I'm here to tell you: It's okay! Embrace the pink celery! You'll thank me for it.

This cake popped up on a baking blag that I follow, and it linked me back to the New York Times recipe, originally posted in 2007. As soon as I saw the name, I knew I had to make it. Why? Well, because the crumbs on top of a coffee or crumb cake are my favorite part. Hands down, most favoritest part. I even like the odd little cylindrical-shaped crumbs on an Entenmann's crumb donut.

This cake; however, takes those all other crumbs and crushes them to um...crumbs. These are BIG CRUMBS. I'm talking about big, buttery, sweet clumps of sugary crumby goodness, people. The cake is moist and light, while the rhubarb is tangy and surprising. Put it all together and you have one helluva cake. Let's get started, shall we?

Adapted from the New York Times, 2007

1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cups cake flour

1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices, salt and melted butter until smooth. Stir in flour with a spatula. It will look like a solid dough. Keep pressed into bowl and set aside.

To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even. During the baking process, it will smooth out and settle over the rhubarb.

Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Just look at these huge crumbs! So good. Someone, who shall remain nameless, may have stolen multiple crumbs off the top of the cake while it was cooling. I'll never tell, though.


Matthew said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So you like the Streussel eh?

Susan said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Those bars look great! I have never tried rhubarb. Might have to change that. :)

Kitchen Butterfly said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Gives new definition to rhubarb crumble. I've never actually baked with rhubarb....thank God its the pink variety, I'm not a green celery fan!

Sophie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oooh Beth!! This crumb cake looks divine!!

This is pure lovelyness!! i so love rhubarb!!!