Thursday, April 3, 2008

Recipe: Buttermilk-Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I've got that moody, broody thing going on these days. I don't know why, so I'll just chalk it up to hormones. I only have 9 months to blame hormones. I'm taking full advantage.

On that note, a breakfast/dessert on Amazon (scroll down) to appease the beast (i.e., me).

I did the rhubarb variation, and it's delicious!! I baked it for the full 40 minutes in a 9-inch pan (I didn't have an 8-inch), sans nuts, and it's moist and tender. I also substituted nutmeg for cinnamon in the topping because MetaDaddy doesn't care for cinnamon in his baked goods (we all have our personal ticks ;-). If you can't get rhubarb, take a look at the original classic buttermilk coffee cake recipe and other variations.

Buttermilk-Rhubarb Coffee Cake
By Mollie Katzen

2 cups chopped rhubarb (1/4-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (unwrap & place directly in bowl ahead of time)
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for a glass pan). Lightly spray an 8-inch round or square pan with nonstick spray.

Before making the batter, toss the rhubarb, 2 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon flour in a bowl. Let the mixture stand while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl, beat the butter for several minutes with an electric mixer at high speed. Add the sugar and beat for several minutes longer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in the vanilla.

In a second bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, slowly mixing them together with a whisk.

Add the dry ingredients in three installments to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry (dry-wet-dry-wet-dry). After each addition, mix from the bottom of the bowl--just enough to blend--with a spoon or a rubber spatula. Don't overmix. Fold the rhubarb mixture in with the last installment of dry ingredients.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly into place. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon (and optional nuts), and sprinkle this on top before baking.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick or sharp knife inserted all the way into the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Makes one 8-inch round or square cake (about 6 or 7 servings).