New York holds special memories for me. My darling Casey and I had an amazing adventure there five years ago (can you believe it’s been five years Case?) and since we left, I have held the memory of tall buildings blocking out the horizon, eternally busy side walks and subway stations, and millions of lives lived side-by-side in a special place in my heart. We ate peaches, the juice dribbling down our chins as we walked along the upper reaches of Broadway, and bought souvenirs, and ate rice soup for lunch and then splurged on dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s ‘The London NYC‘ and drank cocktails in the lounge of the Algonquin Hotel catching sight of the hotel cat before we returned to our upper west-side hovel of a hostel.
New York seems a lifetime ago: hot sticky days where the warm air blowing out of the subway vents seemed almost cooling; hours wandering around every museum we could find (still missed out on the Guggenheim though…); trying on clothes in the department stories we had dreamed of for a long time (I’ll be back one day Saks); picnicking in Central Park (crème brulee and raspberries from Dean & Deluca is really the only way to do it); dinners at the Barking Dog Restaurant (if I lived in New York this would be my local diner) – and the myriad desserts and baked goodies that we discovered in our two week adventure. Oh the cupcakes, the blueberry shortcake with ice cream, the toasted pecan and toffee ice cream, the molten chocolate cakes, the chocolate-cardamom truffles….
The crumb cake or streuselkuchen was originally made by European immigrants and over time has become synonymous with New York coffee shop foods. I honestly cannot remember if we ate crumb cake while we were in New York, however it seemed as though we delighted in every other baked good, so it is entirely probable that we did. My love is for the streusel, the crumb, itself. This cake features a buttery, cinnamon fragranced crumb followed by a layer of chocolate and then a slightly dry vanilla cake beneath – perfect for pairing with a morning cup of coffee, or for a slightly more indulgent treat, try a mocha cappuccino – trust me.
New York Style Chocolate Streusel Crumb Cake
I can’t really think of anything to say about this cake other than: make it and share it and you will have friends forever. Perfect to take to work for those potluck morning teas.
Ingredients for crumbs:
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Ingredients for cake:
- 1 3/4 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2/3 cup chopped chocolate, or chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease the sides and bottom of a 9 1/2-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom with baking paper.
- Melt butter in the microwave. In a separate bowl whisk together all other ingredients for crumb. Stir in melted butter with a fork until mixture is crumbly.
- In a medium-size bowl whisk together plain flour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Measure out sour cream into a measuring jug and then whisk in eggs and vanilla bean paste.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and add sour cream mixture. Beat until smooth.
- Pour batter into the pre-lined baking tin. Sprinkle chopped chocolate or chocolate chips over the batter, then spread crumb mixture evenly over the top of the chocolate.
- Slide cake into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (there may be some melted chocolate sticking to the skewer, but no cake mixture).
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and then allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Tell me dear reader, do you have any favourite holiday spots that you can’t wait to return to? Any favourite food memories from vacation?