Tuesday, November 15, 2011

brown butter, ginger, and sour cream coffee cake

In my experience, there are certain things that a single lady should know. A single lady should know how to mix a proper martini (coat the inside of a martini glass with a bit of dry vermouth, shake some gin over ice, and strain the chilled gin into the vermouth coated glass).  A single lady should know how to ambush an insect invader (haul out the Dyson and vacuum that sucker right up).  A single lady should know how to stop a run in her tights (clear nail polish) and how to pull together an outfit that could stop traffic.

A single lady should know how to make flowers from her corner deli last the whole week (remove the lower leaves and add a dash of sugar and a few drops of vodka to the water). A single lady should know not to respond to text messages from boys that are sent after 1 am (Seriously. Just. Don't.) A single lady should know how to test her smoke alarm and her carbon monoxide detector. (If you don't, go look right now. It's okay, I'll wait.)

A single lady should know that the best way to approach a piece of "assembly-required" furniture is often with a glass of wine in hand. (A single lady should know that this does not mean two glasses, unless she wants a desk with drawers that open out the back. Hypothetically speaking of course). A single lady should know how to firmly yet politely turn down a second date with minimal awkwardness (If you have the secret to this one, please let me know).

And a single lady should know that on a chilly Sunday morning, she deserves a piece of coffee cake. Specifically, a piece of this brown butter, ginger, and sour cream coffee cake from the November issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. Copious amounts of brown butter mean that the cake is rich and nutty, while crystallized ginger and brown sugar swirls add sweetness and spice.  A single lady should know that this recipe makes a whole lot of cake. So if there's a single gentleman she's been wanting to invite over for brunch, she now has a good excuse.

Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Slightly Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2011
Recipe Available Here

Brown Butter
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
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 ground allspice
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups raw almonds, coarsely chopped

To Brown the Butter: Put the butter in a pan (The original recipe calls for a non-stick skillet but I used cast-iron) over medium heat. Cook the butter for about 10 minutes (the original recipe recommended 6-8 but my butter took longer) or until brown bits have formed and the butter is fragrant.  Watch the butter carefully as it begins to brown--it can burn very easily, and once it's burned it's ruined. Pour the browned butter into a glass measuring cup and be sure you have at least 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of melted butter (just shy of 2 cups). Allow the butter to cool slightly.

To Make the Topping: Whisk the topping ingredients in a small bowl. Add 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of the browned butter and mix until clumps form. Set the topping aside.

To Make the Cake:  Preheat the oven to 325, and generously butter a large bundt pan. (Note: the original recipe calls for a 10" tube pan with a removable top, but I don't have one so I adapted the recipe slightly to use with a bundt pan. This means that my "topping" was actually  baked into the cake. See the original recipe for instructions on assembling the cake in a tube pan.)  Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl and set it aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining cup of browned butter and the sugar on medium speed until light and thick--about two minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then beat in the sour cream, milk and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and just stir until combined. Divide the topping into two parts, and mix half of of the topping with the chopped almonds. Scatter the almond topping in the bottom of the bundt pan. Add half the batter.  Cover with the remaining topping. Pour the rest of the cake batter into the pan. Bake for a hour and 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top of the cake looks like it's browning too quickly, tent it with foil. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then invert onto a cooling rack. The cake can be made a day ahead of time, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 


Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen said...

I love this post! I'm not technically single I suppose since I have a boyfriend living 45 minutes away, but since I don't see him during the week I should know how to do more of these things. I've been known to sleep on my couch after seeing a spider in my room...I will try the vacuum trick next time! I love the flower trick too.

Thanks for sharing this recipe...it looks delicious, and is just the kind of thing I love for breakfast.

Alli said...

You are great!

julia { see you in the morning } said...

yummmmmmmmcoffEEcake! i want to come over and help eat this coffeecake and third wheel it. it'd be weird. (but awesome)

Jacque said...

LOL, too cute! Mmmm, love coffee cake.

Dulcie said...

Yum. I was eyeing this one in my copy of Bon Appetit. Looks beautiful!