Thursday, 28 February 2008

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

I always have problem in using up a full pack of cream (be it sour or thickened), herbs, shredded cheese or anything with short shelf life, when the recipe only calls for a portion of the said ingredients. Even if I buy the smallest pack, I would still have leftover. It is also not feasible to increase the other ingredients, as the cooked portion would be too much for a household that only consists of two persons.

What usually happen is that, after using up the first portion, I would keep the remaining portion in the fridge while I search for another recipe to finish up the ingredient. But it would end up in the trash can most of the time, as I may not have time to cook during that few days before it's expired. It's a waste, I know...

Well, this time round, I'm glad that I managed to use up the pack of buttermilk I bought 3 days ago. The first portion of buttermilk was used to bake a batch of blueberry muffins which unfortunately didn't turn out right. I used the remaining buttermilk to bake a buttermilk-chocolate chip crumb cake last night, which I halved the recipe and also added 1/2 tablespoon of orange zest for that extra citrusy flavour. I brought the cake to my Japanese language class today and all my classmates love it!

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Recipe
(Adapted from Lisa Yockelson's
Chocolate Chocolate)

Butter Crumb topping:
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.25 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1 stick (or 113g) butter
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbs orange zest

3/4 cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips, for sprinkling on top of the cake
Icing sugar, for sifting on top of the cake

1) Preheat oven to 175 deg C.
2) Lightly grease a 9X4 inch baking pan, then line baking sheet around the interior of pan.

To make the topping:
3) Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Drop in chunks of butter, using a table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla essence over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed. DO NOT overmix.

Mix the batter:
4) Sift the plain flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture in a small bowl.
5) Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.
6) Add in orange zest, then add the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
7) Add in egg and beat for 45 seconds.
8) Mix in the vanilla essence.
9) Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.
10) Stir in chocolate chips.
11) Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and spread evenly, smooth the top with rubber spatula.
12) Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.
13) Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
14) Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately.
15) Let the cake cool completely. Peel off the baking sheet from the cake, then sift some icing sugar on top of the cake. Serve.


chelley325 said...

Oh my goodness, this looks incredible! Thanks for sharing, this is being added to my list of things to try :)

Kate / Kajal said...

piggy this cake looks absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely give this recipe a try. Very well photographed too !

Rasa Malaysia said...

What is buttermilk? Have never used it? Is it a combination of butter and milk???

ioyces said...

hi Piggy!! I have the same problem too!!! But usually it's cos i buy the biggest pack (cheaper in bulk) and result in the following options: give away to friends, scramble to find more recipes to use up the ingredient..!!
:) Many ingredients are freezable though...but freezing sometimes affects the quality...(cheese, cream, coconut milk)...for buttermilk, i use a substitution usually, 1 glass warm milk with 1 tbs lemon juice, left to thicken for around 10 mins..
Lovely lovely cake btw! Like how u've positioned it..very inviting!!!

^cherie said...

Very lovely!!!

It has been quite sometime since i enjoy reading food blogs and yours, never fail to bring out such joy for me to read ;)

And this cake is definitely on my almost non-existent-to-do-list :D

It's good to see u're active again.

Stardust said...

I love the picture, looks irresistable. I hope I was your classmate, hehehhehe...

Ooops, sorry, I was rude. Buttermilk is new to me. What brand are you using? I wonder if it is available at my place.

What happened to your blueberry muffins? Hope you'd make it right next time... 頑張ってね!

daphne said...

I have the exact same problem as well! Gosh, the crumb cake looks lovely..very rustic and certainly crumby. My fork is waiting.

Piggy said...

Hi Chelley,

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Hi Kate,

Thanks. :-)

Hi Bee,

Buttermilk is the by-product from churning of butter. You can get more info from here:

Hi Ioyces,

yeah... just realised how easy it is to make my own buttermilk. i won't spend $$ to buy from stores anymore.. heehee...

Hi Cherie,

Thanks for your support. ;-)

Hi Stardust,

I used a brand call "Dairy Farmers" from Australia. If it's not available in Japan, you can make your own buttermilk too. Chk out Ioyces's comment or the link I attached on my comment to Bee.

the blueberry muffins tasted bland... probably due to the cheapo blueberry I bought from supermarket, it's not sweet at all. And I have a habit of reducing the amt of sugar from the recipe when I bake, I think I had reduced too much sugar this time round.

haha! My jap is still at the very basic level.. what's 頑張ってね? ;-)

Hi Daphne,

It's frustrating to have leftover ingredients, isn't it? :-)

The crumb cake recipe is really good, worth the effort, i'd say!

Priscilla said...

Oh Piggy that looks like a absolutely great snak or even a great breakfast! Yummy!:)

^cherie said...

Er, sorry. But how much butter did u use for the batter? Think u left that one out.

Thanks! ;)

Piggy said...

Hi Cherie,

Thanks for pointing that out. I've made amendment to the recipe. ;-)

Stardust said...

Hi Piggy!

Thanks for the advice on buttermilk, it surely helps. =)

I'm sure that your bland muffins must have looked great, but you're just honest enough not to post it. Anyway, I look forward to your posting on successful ones! I've not baked muffins with buttermilk before and I'm sure they are great!

頑張ってね is ’がんばってね ’in
Hiragana. It means ' Work hard! / Give it a shot ' , in Chinese; ’加油 ’. Japanese often uses this word to encourage others. =)

BTW, about the Perilla leaves!

Tastes like mint without the toothpaste chill, to me.

didally said...

Oo.. this looks so crumbly and delicious. I need to try this recipe soon. lol

Yes, I always buy whipping cream and can't finish even that small portion. Really a waste...

Patricia Scarpin said...

Piggy, what a beautiful blog you have here!!

This cake is divine, it looks so tender, yum!

Stardust said...

Hi Piggy,

A friend confirmed with me that Perilla leaves are available at the supermarket of Scotts Isetan, at about $2 to $3 a pack.

Have a wonderful day!

amanda said...

I saw this picture on flickr and fell in love. The composition and lighting in this picture are fantastic. Not to mention the cake itself looks delicious. My only question is if the buttermilk was a little overpowering? Does it make the cake really tangy?

Piggy said...

Hi Amanda,

Thanks for your compliment! :-D

i don't think the buttermilk is overpowering at all. The cake was actually moist and dense because of the buttermilk.

Cal Tan said...

i'm loving every creation!

BubbaBaker said...

This looks scrump-dilly-ishious but please explain to me how you measure 1 1/2 eggs?

Anonymous said...

Thanks !!!!!

Izzy Hofer said...

What does "then line baking sheet around the interior of pan" mean? Do you line the pan that you put the batter in? With what...aluminum foil, parchment?
Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

What in heaven's name is 1 and 1/2 eggs? Two Medium eggs? Do you cut a raw egg in half?

Anonymous said...

This recipe has completely inaccurate ratios. The butter (3/4 cup, which is 3 sticks) is absolutely too much for the amount of flour you have. You need one stick for this amount of flour, not 3.

Additionally, I'm confused why you've mixed EU measurements (Celsius) with US measurements. Please be consistent or add both.

Candidly, I'm frustrated that I tried this recipe, and knew the amount of butter for the topping was off, but tried 2 sticks and it completely bled into the cake.

Can you please ensure that you have proper and exacting measurements before you post recipes on the web?

I'm not even certain that this is the final photo result.

Anonymous said...

3/4 cup butter is more like 1 1/4 sticks. Looks Wonderful!

Evelyn (cotton candy diva) said...

Is cake flour the same as self-raising flour? (sorry, I'm from Australia and I'm not familiar with cake flour)


Piggy said...

Evelyn (cotton candy diva) - Yes, you can use self-raising flour.

Catarina said...

Very good cake. I just found the crumb a tiny bit too sweet. I used only one egg and increased a bit the amount of buttermilk (3/4 cup), and it worked fine. The consistency is great. The recipe is easy to follow. Thanks!

Jenny said...

Hi, I'm not familiar with caster sugar. I live in the U.S. and wondering if I could use granulated sugar instead of the caster sugar. Also do you know how much I would use?

Melissa said...

So I have made this twice and both times it has come out greasy. Has anyone figured out what the right amount of butter is? The first time I thought I didn't put the right amount of flour, but the second time I made sure it was correct. So... I am wondering if because some measurements are in metric and some not maybe a mistake was made somewhere during conversions? If anyone has suggestions please let me know, this looks sooo good and my whole family is waiting for it to turn out right.

Anonymous said...

I've never used 1 &1/2 eggs in a recipe. Not quite sure wat that means.