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.
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.
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.
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.
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.