Sunday, 13 May 2007

Chocolate Crumble Cake by Mum

In Germany things like baking powder or vanilla sugar are sold in little sachets. Pretty convenient for the lazy baker who doesn’t want to bother with measuring. But the best part is the recipes on the back. My mom used to collect them (and I do it, too, sometimes). She has quite a stack of them; all bundled up and secured with rubber band. Some are 15 years old – or even older. Looking through them, you can stumble upon real treasures. We’ve got our family vanilla ice cream recipe from one of them (something I hope to make and blog about pretty soon).

Another one is a cake that never failed to impress – the combination of pound cake, ricotta filling, and most importantly the chocolate crumble topping is uncommon enough to spark interest at once.
The original recipe didn’t have the filling but a spread of red currant jam instead. That was quite good but my mum came up with the idea of a quark filling that was even better. It pretty much sums up her approach to cooking and baking: nothing fancy-schmancy – just down-to-earth and simply good. Happy Mother’s Day, mum!

Chocolate Crumble Cake with Ricotta Filling

Pound Cake Base
75g butter
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar (heaped)
1 egg
150g all-purpose flour
50g cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
2-4 tbsp milk

Beat butter until soft, add both types of sugar. Beat until pale and fluffy, the sugar should be dissolved. Add the egg and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and as much milk as needed (the dough should be rather on the stiff side). Spread into a prepared springform pan creating a little rim if desired).

Ricotta Filling
2 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar, heaped
500g Ricotta (should be rather sour, do not use the ricotta for baked cheesecake)
2 egg whites

Beat the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until pale and fluffy and the sugar is dissolved. Add ricotta and mix well. Gently fold in egg whites. Spread ricotta filling on top of vanilla dough.

Chocolate Crumble Topping
150g flour
30g cocoa
100g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar, heaped
100g butter, cold, diced

Mix with your fingers until coarse crumbles form. Do not over mix (otherwise the butter will melt and mixture will get too soft to form proper crumbles). Sprinkle atop ricotta filling.

Fan-bake cake at 150 degrees Celsius (otherwise 170 degrees Celsius in a preheated oven) for about half an hour. If the ricotta filling is still wobbly, bake for another five minutes. Let cool down thoroughly before unmolding. Otherwise the cake might crack.

The source
My mum and a very old vanilla sugar sachet

The hint
If you can track it down, use European-style quark or curd for the filling – that’s what the original recipe calls for.

If using a mini-loaf pan, you’ll have leftover ricotta filling which can be baked separately as little soufflé. The leftover crumble can be frozen.


Katie said...

Wow, what an unusual cake. Never seen one like it before, im so intrigued. Will be giving it a go :)

Eva said...

Glad you like it! Let me know how it worked out!

Nora B. said...

Hi Eva, thanks for giving me a "sample". I am picking off the last crumbs off the plate as I write this. It was soooo delicious. Your mum is a very smart & creative woman to have adapted the recipe - I love how the three flavours and textures compliment each other. Since you used the mini loaf pan, it also looked so cute and elegant at the same time.

Eva said...

Nora - I'll forward your praise, Mum will be delighted!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That cake looks wonderfully delicious! The ricotta filling sounds interesting...

Freya said...

Fantastic cake! I have some ricotta going spare in the fridge (I buy ingredients and then wait to be inspired!) and this cake seems perfect!

Helene said...

I always thought that coffee cakes were a bit too dry but I have no doubt that the addition of the ricoota makes these light and delicious. Great recipe. Thank you Eva's mum!

Eva said...

Rosa - I believe that you can never go wrong with anything ricotta or quark (which is even better in my opinion)!

Freya and Paul - Same with me: I always buy too many things and then need to use them veeery quickly..;-)

Helen - Yes, it's not heavy at all! If you use quark, the cake will also keep very well and stay moist for quite a few days. If using ricotta, it should be eaten in the first two days (preferably) although I could never figure out why it makes such a difference.

cakebaker said...

This cake is a definite one for me to try.
It seems very straightforward, just one question...what size sprinform tin did you use...8" perhaps?

Eva said...

That's nice to hear - I'm sure you won't be disappointed!
This time, I used a 8-mini-loaf-pan. Originally, this cake is baked in a 10-inch springform tin and hence isn't very high. I also baked it in a 9-inch tin with very good results. I probably wouldn't try 8 inches cos the ricotta filling might not get cooked through properly. If you aim for a really high-rising cake, you could add a tsp of baking powder (albeit I've never tried that).

Hope that helps!

cakebaker said...

Thanks Eva,
I'll use the 9 inch tin

Elsbeth said...

Hello Eva,
I tried this cake this Easter, made it with quark (I live in the Netherlands) and it turned out great. A fantastic recipe and I will definately make it again! Thank you (and your mum. And a vanilla sugar sachet)

Eva said...

Hi Elsbeth, I´m glad to hear that the cake turned out so well! I should make it again, too, haven´t had it for a while..;-)

Anonymous said...

i think this is similar to Russischer Zupfkuchen ("russian crumble cake?") - also one of my all time favourites...