Sugar High Friday: Gingered Coffeecake

Hello, food world. Let this serve as our introduction, and perhaps the beginning of more fruitful interaction. I'm a long-time reader, new to the blogging scene, but I always thought, if I ever get myself a blog, I'm going to join Sugar High Fridays. And when I was reading Jennifer/Domestic Goddess's post the other day, I noticed the icon and clicked the link to find that the topic was ginger, and the deadline just days away. The timing seemed perfect what with the holiday weekend, and when I found myself in a baking mood tonight, the only question remained: what to make?
Actually, the question became: is this possible? Already in pajamas and in for the night, venturing to the grocery store was not an option - I wanted to bake, but I wanted to do it now. I haven't worked much with ginger in desserts, only in Nigella Lawson's fresh gingerbread, and I also didn't want something that tried or true, or something that felt out of sync with the season. And like the proverbial lightbulb, coffeecake lit up in my head, perfect for the weekend guests and late breakfasts. Gingered coffeecake it was to be.
Luckily, I'd made a trip just a night or two ago when planning on making cinnamon rolls for the weekend, so I had buttermilk in stock. Unfortunately for me, I don't keep 'staples' like eggs or milk around, and it would have to utilize the bag of crystallized ginger or the ground ginger in the cabinet. Luckily, some hunting around found a recipe for eggless buttermilk cake, and a half-cup of oats remained in the container to make a streusel topping. With some minor alterations for palatibility, resourcefulness pulled through. A cake started on a whim - just like this blog - came into being.

adapted and tweaked from several recipes

for cake
2 packed c. brown sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c (one stick) butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

for streusel
~ 1/3 c. quick-cooking oats
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
optional pinch salt
3 heaping Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger
3 Tbsp. butter
heaping 1/4 c. dry cake mixture

Preheat oven to 375 F and generously grease a 9x9 or similar capacity cake pan. (you may use an 8x8, as I did, but be forewarned that you will need to cover the top with foil to prevent streusel from browning too much while the interior cooks, and that it will take perhaps up to 45 minutes to bake.)
In large bowl, crumble the brown sugar and whisk in flour, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter and then mix with your hands until the mixture is crumbly and has a sandy feel. Reserve heaping 1/4 c. for streusel.
Whisk in baking soda, pinching to make sure no lumps remain, and the salt. Mix together buttermilk and vanilla and stir to combine.
In separate medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour,brown sugar and salt for the streusel. Separate pieces of ginger as best as possible and toss to coat, separating the pieces as you go along. Rub or cut in the 3 Tbsp. butter until the mixture forms large (bigger than a pea) clumps of crumbs. Add dry cake mix to your liking, rubbing into the crumb mixture to combine.
Pour buttermilk cake mixture into greased pan and even across the top with a spatula. Gather streusel crumbs into clumps or leave sandy as you prefer and drop streusel over the top of the cake. Bake for 30 minutes, checking at 20 or 25 minutes into baking if you need to cover the top with foil to prevent overbrowning. Remove from oven when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean (may have some streusel crumbs attached, but no wet cake) and place on a rack to cool before cutting.


Blogger Ruth Daniels said...

Emily - if this is what you come up with in pj's and limited ingredients - I can't imagine the possibilities in the daytime!

Thanks for participating in this month's SHF. Check on the roundup on Monday.

3:33 PM  
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