Friday, 8 December 2006

A humble cake rises up to the occasion

Once upon a time, there was a really plain looking cake. Sitting flatly in its baking sheet, it always adored those piled-up high layer-cakes coated in whipped cream or butter cream and garnished with all sorts of dainty things. The humble cake never expected to be appreciated like those masterpieces of pastry. It knew too well that most people tend to overlook it at first. However, this honest cake would never attempt to conceal any kind of culinary failure behind a cream cloud – hoping that no one would dare to cut into this lofty creation.

German streusel cake - that’s the incarnation of home-made goodness. It wants to impress you with quality not with its looks: On a bed of shortcrust pastry you’ll find pieces of peaches covered with sweet and crunchy streusel and a handful of flaked almonds. A light shower of powdered sugar fits this cake quite nicely. If you feel dainty, just dress it up with some vanilla-scented whipped cream. After that, this cake will look almost as elegant as its lofty relatives – but unlike them, its taste will never disappoint you.

German Streusel Cake

The ingredients

300g butter, softened
250g caster sugar
2 small eggs (or 1 whole egg and an egg yolk or egg white)
600 g all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder

1 big can of peaches
Handful of slivered almonds
Icing sugar for sprinkling

Cream the butter together with the sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat thoroughly until pale and fluffy.

Mix dry ingredients. Pour half of the dry ingredients on top of the creamed butter, beat until incorporated. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients using your hand while producing little crumbles.

Press a good half of the crumbling dough into a lightly buttered baking sheet. Top with peach slices.

Crumble dough pieces on top until almost all of the peaches are covered. I like my crumble topping very crunchy and sweet so I added a bit more sugar at this stage.

Scatter a handful of slivered almonds on top. Fan-bake at 150 degrees Celsius until the crumbles have a nice golden-brown colour, about 45-55 minutes. Let cool, sprinkle icing sugar on top and serve with whipped cream if desired.

The source

The German cookbook “Hedwig Maria Stuber: Ich helf Dir kochen”

The hints

Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you’ll probably end up with too much dough. It freezes very well and can be used either as shortcrust pastry or crumble topping.

For really crunchy crumbles, caster sugar is a bit too fine. Whilst the coarse sugar available in Australia might be a bit too coarse something in between should give your cake just the right amount of crunch.

This cake works equally well with apples, rhubarb or sour cherries. If your fruits are very juicy, you should cover the dough with bread crumbs first.

A quarter of the flour could also be substituted with almond flour.


WhItE_PoPlAr said...

I have been looking for a German Streusel Cake for ages. Thanks for the recipe!

Eva said...

I'm happy to help! There are of course countless versions of Streusel cake. If you wanna try more, I could email you some recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eva,
I am so happy to see so many entries in your blog. I haven't been able to check because of a lack of internet access. I am planning to make either your streusel cake or the peach cake from your first recipe post. Wish me luck! Maybe you can also share with us what is traditional types German chirstmas baking? Do you have special cakes & breads?


Eva said...

Hi Nora,

You have to take a picture of everything you make!
I really hope that I will spend some time this weekend with Christmas baking! Otherwise I will never get into some sort of Christmas mood here in Sydney... I'm planning to make traditional cookies - at least five different sorts - and maybe some stollen, too. So stay tuned!