Friday, August 9, 2013

Raisin-Almond-Orange Streusel Cake

This is my first time baking a streusel cake.  Obviously, the word itself was so alien to me when I first heard it.  It sounded so English that I thought it was some kind of a candy or even a name of a branded shoe. Or could it a type of gardening tool or some dog breed? Oh my God! There goes my apish ignorance!

I bet that most of us have eaten a streusel or at a very least seen it before but not knowing what it is called.  After some read-ups, I came to know that basically streusel is a crumblike topping for coffee cakes and rich breads, consisting of flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and sometimes chopped nutmeats.  Streusel is indeed a German word which means 'something scattered or sprinkled'.  True enough, this sugary crumbs are generously scattered on top of the cake giving the whole cake a tinge of sweetness.  If you have weakness for butter, then this little something will without fail pamper your taste buds to the max. 

Surprisingly, my son who normally has no craving for cakes sort of like this bake a lot.  Personally, I find this cake so-so as I do not like the sourish zing from the raisins.  Probably, I have over-soaked the raisins causing it to lose its sweetness.  The only thing that has made up for the flaw is the streusel topping.  The buttery and sugary crunch from the topping is simply satisfying and indeed completes everything. 

This cake will be perfect to go with a cuppa hot coffee on a hot afternoon in a private garden enjoyed together with a bunch of close friends or family members.  Aaahhh.....heavenly! 

For those who want to give this dessert a shot, here's the secret......

The Recipe

A) Batter
     55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
     100g brown sugar (1/2 cup)
     1 large egg, at room temperature
     125g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
     1/8 teaspoon salt
     1 tsp baking powder
     1/2 cup orange juice
     1/2 cup raisins, soaked and drained
     small handful almond flakes

B) Streusel
      60g all-purpose flour (1/2 cup)
      55g cold, unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
      55g caster sugar (1/4 cup)


Preheat your oven at 175C degrees and butter a 8-inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir to blend. 

In another, larger bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until they become creamy and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat well. 

Add half of the flour mix into the egg-butter-sugar mix, bit well, then add half the orange juice and beat again.

Do the same with the remaining half flour mix and orange juice (and zest if you are using it). Beat the mixture until it is smooth. Stir in the raisins. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan.

Make the Streusel
In a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, butter pieces and mix it with your fingers until it becomes crumbly.

Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the pan and stud with the almond flakes. 

Bake the cake for 20-30 minutes or until it is golden brown. Test with a toothpick to see if it is ready, if the toothpick comes out clean it is ready. 

Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then unmold and serve warm or at room temperature.



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