Sour cream streussel pound cake

This cake is more rich than most of the recipes I’ve been writing about here, but it seemed like a fun (and delicious) thing to have a go at seeing as I happened to have all the ingredients on hand at home.

Streussel closeup

This simple cake is characterised by a layer of streussel filling, which comprises brown sugar, walnuts, chocolate, cocoa powder and cinnamon.

As usual, I made some adjustments to the original recipe, taken from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America.

Streussel Filling

1/3 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar [original calls for light brown sugar]
1/4 cup chopped toasted waluts
1/4 cup organic dark chocolate (Carrefour brand – the cheapest organic chocolate available!), chopped into small pieces [replaces ‘mini semisweet chocolate chips]
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Toss all ingredients together till evenly blended.

Cake ingredients

1 cup wholemeal flour + 1/2 cup cake flour [replaces 1 1/2 cups cake flour]
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
113g unsalted butter [= 1 stick = 8 Tbs] at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar [reduced from 3/4 cup]
[omitted 1/2 tsp salt]
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

This cake is made with the familiar creaming method, and leavening power provided by an acid (sour cream) reacting with baking soda (I have written about both processes earlier here).

First sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar (and salt, if using) until the mixture is smooth and light.

In another bowl, mix together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract.

Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the dry ingredients. Mix until just blended.

Pour half the batter into an 8 1/2 inch loaf pan which has been buttered. Scatter the streussel filling over the batter and put the remaining batter over the top and smoothen the top into an even layer. Alternatively, lightly swirl the streussel into the batter whilst in the bowl and pour all into the baking tin.

Bake in oven preheated to 175°C/ 350°F for 45 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on metal rack, release cake from pan and serve at room temperature.

The cake looked beautiful when it was done, with a beautifully cracked top, a lovely brown crust and the gorgeous streussel layer in the middle.

Streussel cross-section

The problem was that it was all too dry. I followed the instructions to bake for 50-55 mins but in retrospect, this was definitely too long.

Also, I don’t like making cakes in loaf tins because the long baking time sucks up a lot of electricity. As I mentioned here, it’s better to bake in smaller cupcakes shapes. However, for this cake the large size is essential to get the effect of the streussel layer or swirls.

I probably wouldn’t make this cake often, because it’s too rich with all that chocolate (except for a special treat) and actually it didn’t really taste all that amazing to me, so for a special occasion I would choose something else.

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9 Responses

  1. hi Niceties!
    Sorry I haven’t been writing cuz I was so busy! Now that I’ve pushed away all my work commitments (and am a 100% homemaker!) I’m a lot more relaxed!

    Your cake looks beautiful! And it reminds me of Charlie Brown’s shirt! :)

    And, after suffering many allergy attacks over the CNY period, I finally went for a food allergy (delayed and immediate) test! waiting results in 2 mths time :)

  2. Hi CP!

    Sorry to hear about the CNY attacks :(. I was very good and didn’t touch any CNY cookies and didn’t eat any Yu Sheng (I just ‘loh’ and ate two strands of radish for good luck!) so I managed to survive.

    Is it and IgE and IgG blood test you have taken? How exciting, it will be great to get some answers, and maybe now that you are more relaxed, your body will be less sensitive to foods :)?

    All the best!

  3. hi Niceties!
    Wow!! I am so impressed by your discipline! I was gorging myself on the fried “chi gu” (arrowhead) snacks. hv u eaten them before? My goodness, last year I had only one box, and was rationing them over a month, so this year I went to the other extreme, and bought 3 boxes (for myself alone). I ended up asking my friends to help me finish one, and couldn’t bear to see another cracker by the end of CNY!

    Yes, I took the IgE and IgG test – at this ENT clinic in GlenE recommended by hubb’s boss who has a daughter who is severely allergic to dust. I’m so excited about it – because I do want to stop playing russian roulette! And I’m really hoping that I will be less sensitive now that I’m really more relaxed…

    And I was helped along by your food intolerance links. (thanks so much!!! You don’t know how grateful I am to have met you on the net!). Cuz you know, I didn’t know about the difference between the ELISA and ALCAT tests, and before coming across that ENT clinic in GlenE, I was considering two private providers – one providing ELISA and one ALCAT – but they were not real doctors – in fact, the 1st one is just an importer of health products and the 2nd, operates a slimming clinic! (I am severely underweight).

    Btw, I came across this book from the library by Ng Siong Mui on Chinese recipes for health, rejuvenation, and beauty – I’m thinking you might find it useful. It’s got a lot of TCM-based recipes, and in my opinion, far better than those western cookbooks which dont “balance” food types in a recipe, if you know what I mean. I went to Popular and can’t find it. Think I’m calling up the publisher. :)

  4. Hi CP,

    I don’t know about the difference between ELISA and ALCAT either! Will need to read up more – thanks for bringing this to my attention. I also didn’t realise it takes so long to get the results. Could you choose how many substances you wanted to be tested for?

    Yes! The ‘chi gu’ crisps are reeeeally nice!! But now I’m scared of fried stuff after I found that these days I’m sensitive to oils that might be rancid, reused etc.

    Actually I’ve found it easier to manage my diet after it got really bad last June because now I really try to avoid everything outside the home. In the past I would have many ‘just this once I’ll have a bit of this’ relapses and leaving the window open to that meant that ended up eating many things I shouldn’t have.

    Now that I’ve made almost everything off-limits, I don’t even think about it or open myself to temptation, and it’s easier that way. Yesterday and today I managed to sit at restaurants watching friends/family eating a full meal without touching anything at all myself – it was actually harder fending off people’s attempts to get me to eat something because they felt bad that I wasn’t eating.

    Thanks for reminding me abt the Ng Siong Mui books. I have two of them at home (I think she has total of four) but I haven’t looked at them in a long time.

  5. hi Niceties,
    actually I’m not very clear either about the difference between the 2 tests, but if I’m not wrong, ALCAT doesnt test for IgG or igE stuff. apparently, the IgE stuff can be done in singapore and results are out in 2 weeks, but the IgG tests have to be done in the US – hence the 2 mth waiting period.

    Yes, u can choose some kind of standard inhalant panel (I did, since I’m definitely very sensitive to dust), and some standard 96 foods (choose either asian or standard western panel, i chose the asian panel).

    oh yikes! Din’t know you’re sensitive to rancid oils! this time round, my mom had a friend who made it at home, so i was very happy. p/s are u a fan of keropok? I am but can’t stand those u find in the shops – the oil they use stinks!! i gorge myself on it every CNY cuz another auntie loves to fry them.

    and yes, i u/std how u feel about eating at home, etc. i’ve had the same experience (tho not so wide) with all these lactose stuff.

    btw, i’ve been trying to buy the Ng Siong Mui books, can u tell me where u bot them? I can’t find them in Popular…help!

  6. Hi CP,

    Hey, that’s great that there’s an option to do the test for a range of Asian foods! That’s one one of the problems with a lot of the literature on food allergies & intolerances, it doesn’t cater to an Asian diet.

    I haven’t eaten keropok in a verrry long time! Might be good to try out my grandmother’s recipe for homemade prawn keropok :).

    http://nicerecipes.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/krupok-udang/

    But will have to experiment with substitute for the Robin Starch. My guess is that a sticky, starchy flour like cornflour, tapioca flour or arrowroot flour might be OK.

    Aiyoh, I got the Ng Siong Mui books about ten years ago! Your suggestion to contact the publisher is prob the best option, they are located in Temple Street in Chinatown, I think, so quite convenient & can go to Organic Paradise at the same time :)!

  7. Yah, I was very happy about the asian foods thingy cuz i don’t really fancy all those angmoh foods anyway – the herbs/recipes they use are all so expensive, with ingredients like parsnip and those ang moh herbs u can only buy from cold storage…

    thanks for the recipe!! but u know i probably wont try it lah – so much effort! (not to mention the fumes that would pollute my kitchen & laundry! will probably ask my MIL’s maid if she is interested to help us make! hahahah.

    Aiyo, i tried calling up the publisheer, all the phone nos. is invalid. i hope they haven’t closed down. :(

  8. Hi CP,

    Yeah, I always thought how pointless to get a food allergy test that doesn’t include many of the common foods available here! Same with the lists of salicylate levels – many common Asian fruits & veg haven’t been tested.

    Maybe try looking for another phone no. for the publisher, Landmark Books? I’m pretty sure they haven’t closed down. They are very well-established and do major govt publications like the ’40 Years of National Service’ book that came out last year.

  9. Hi CP,

    Today I was in Bras Basah Popular Bookstore and saw the Ng Siong Mui ‘Health, Beauty & Rejuvenation’ recipe book for S$26+.

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