Sour Cherry Coffee Cake


Yesterday I was at my new job and one of my coworkers brought me a large tupperwear of sour baking cherries from her house in Sonoma. Since I just started this job she had heard I love baking. I was so delighted that someone thought of me! Last night I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen and she mentioned it would be good with sour cherries. Since she is my go to place for a recipe I had full trust in her.

Here is the recipe I used:

Big Crumb’ Coffeecake with Rhubarb
Adapted from The New York Times 6/6/07

Butter for greasing pan

For the rhubarb filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
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 (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I was out and used all-purpose and it worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (ditto on the all-purpose flour–worked just fine)
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.

1. 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.

2. To make crumbs [this step now updated, see comment #150] in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

3. 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.

4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.

5. 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.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

I tweaked the recipe a little by adding more ground ginger and a little less sugar. My crumbs topping did not turn out great, it sunk in the cake as it baked but turned out very good.

The picture of the cake is all I had left. Everyone at my work loved it and gobbled it up! Hopefully they weren't just being polite and forcing it down!

The next time I make it I want to try it with Rhubarb.
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Spring Rolls


Last Friday night my friend and I went to Burma Super Star for dinner. It was SO good. The whole dinner was a great experience from arriving there, we had to wait for about 30 minutes. So, we walked down Clement street discovering some new shops to explore in. When we were called for dinner we sat at a two top literally three inches next to a couple on a date. On the other side we had a young couple with two children, one youngest child was having dinner from her mother. My friend, a dedicated non meat eater wanted to order about 8 different dishes and I who was willing to try anything figured we shouldn't eat with our eyes! We ended up ordering the Tea Leaf Salad, Fried Yellow Bean Tofu, and the Mango Shrimp. The Tea Leaf Salad had so many textures and different tastes. The salad contains seeds and nuts, lettuce and other goodness, Burmese tea leaves, which, according to the restaurant's website, are actually from Burma. The Fired Yellow Bean Tofu was fresh tofu made in house and did not even taste like tofu. So yummy! The Mango Shrimp was spicy and sweet and just plain good! To wash this all down we ordered a pitcher of the Burma Cooler (I think that is what they called it). This made you want eat and drink more! The next day we went to the succulent sale at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. I came away with a box full of succulents and a HUGE smile! When we were done with the gardens we were famished and thought to make some veggie spring rolls. These were so easy to make and a fun thing to do with some music and great company!
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Fresh Bread

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I love bread! The one thing that I love even more than bread is fresh homemade bread! I made a loaf of 10 grain bread. I bought the flour from Bob's Old Red Mill it was really yummy. It was a little sweet and crunchy on the outside. A few weekends ago when I went to the Maker Faire I made fresh butter and had some left. So, the other night when the bread came out of the oven I had a piece of fresh bread with some homemade butter! What could be better? Fresh bread with homemade jam...I think I just figured out what I am going to make this weekend! YUM!