My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

"If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?"
~Stephen Wright

I'm a sucker for coffee cake.  So when the November Bon Appetit arrived in the mail two days ago, I did not get past page 56, where this recipe resided.  It was a "must make" find.  This is unlike me.  Usually the recipes I see in magazines sit around for months or years until I stumble across them again.  The really, really good ones get ripped out of the magazine and placed in a file folder in the kitchen.  Those are the short-list ones that I might actually get to before I forget about them.  

In this case, the recipe pushed all the right buttons.  It's COFFEE-CAKE, with brown butter, actually done on purpose, haha.....and toasted almonds, my favorite.  There is wheat flour in it (fits my new whole grain kick), and I had all the ingredients on hand, including a large bag of crystallized ginger that I need to use up before it becomes petrified ginger (if you have a recipe for that, let me know).

I ran into a couple minor problems with this cake.  First, the batter was a bit loose, so the filling sank and the topping started to get swallowed up by the batter as it baked.  Half an hour before it was done I sprinkled a little more chopped nuts and sugar on it, so it would still look good.  Next time, I'll omit the half cup of milk so that the batter is a bit thicker.  Second, it called for a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.  I only have a 9-inch one, so I used it and crossed my fingers.  The batter filled it right up so I put a cookie sheet under to catch any spillover, which by the way, baked into cookie/muffin-top-like things that the Mister ate the minute he walked into the house after work and said "OMG, this is so friggin good, I could chew the (burnt) stuff off the pan."

The problems were not insurmountable and the resulting cake was really delicious and different, reminding me of salted caramel with a kick of ginger.  It's a keeper.

Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake
from Nov '11 issue of Bon Appetit

Brown Butter
2 cups plus 2 T unsalted butter [I used salted  butter and liked the result]

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream  
1/2 cup milk [next time I will omit this]
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped [I used roasted almonds]

Special equipment: A 10" tube pan with removable bottom.

Brown Butter:  Simmer 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned bits form, 6-8 minutes.  Pour into a 2-cup measuring cup.  If needed, add more butter to measure 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons.

Topping:  Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons brown butter (reserve remaining butter for cake); stir until moist clumps form.  Stir in ginger.  Set aside.

Cake:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter pan generously.  In a medium bowl, whisk all-purpose flour and next 7 ingredients together.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat remaining 1 cup browned butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and thick, 2-3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions.  Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla.  Stir in flour just to blend.

Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan; smooth top.  Scatter 1 cup of topping over.  Spoon remaining batter in dollops over; smooth.  Add almonds to remaining topping.  Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around pan to release cake. Remove side pans; let cool completely.


Di said...

Ooh, yum! Browned butter and ginger, two of my favorites. I just pulled my November copy of Bon Appetit out of the mailbox; time to go open it up and see what else I can find in there.

Mary said...

This looks delicious and it would be perfect for Thanksgiving morning. I know my gang would love it. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Di: It was a unique combo...truly different than any other coffee cake I've made.

@Mary: Thanks! Yes, it would anything that you make! xo

motherrimmy said...

My husband would be in heaven if I made this coffee cake for him. As far as he's concerned there's nothing better than coffee cake with his favorite tea. Thanks for the tips. I'd be eating those muffin tops too.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@motherimmy: I agree with your husband. Coffee cake is the best! You're very welcome and nice to see you here!