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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brown Butter Sour Cream Crumb Cake

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Normally I read magazines cover to cover, taking in each article in the order its been placed within the magazine. When I get my food magazines, however, I always flip to the recipe table of contents to see what is within and then I browse the recipes that sound the most interesting to me. Eventually I go back and read the whole thing, but I'm always anxious to see which recipes are in the current issue. That's how I discovered the recipe for this brown butter sour cream crumb cake, long before I had the chance to read the rest of the issue. 
After making the brown butter pumpkin cake, I'm in awe of how much additional flavor you can add to something simply by browning the butter. Thus was the case with this relatively basic crumb cake. Aside from a pinch of nutmeg, there weren't really any spices in the cake and yet this cake was anything but flavorless! The salty crumb topping was the perfect complement to the nuttiness that the brown butter added to the cake. I served this at church last weekend and while people couldn't put their finger on what they were tasting, several commented on how much they liked it. Brown butter for the win, once again!
One Year Ago: Spicy Homemade Salsa (we make this all the time!)
Two Years Ago: Feta and Sundried Tomato Torta
Three Years Ago: Spinach and Black Bean Pasta

Brown Butter Sour Cream Crumb Cake
from Food and Wine January 2013

for the crumb topping-
-1 stick unsalted  butter, cubed and chilled
-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-scant 1/2 tsp salt

for the coffee cake-
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-scant 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
-1 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
-1/2 cup sour cream

1. To make the crumb topping, place all topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until small crumbs form. Transfer to a plate and press into 1/2-inch clumps. Place in fridge, until firm, at least 15 minutes.
2. To make the cake, melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat until solids begin to brown and smell nutty (about 5 minutes once butter has melted). Immediately scrape butter and solids into a shallow bowl and freeze until firm, but not hard (20-25 minutes).
3. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and set aside.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside. Scrape butter into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with sugar for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth.
5. Alternate between adding the sour cream and the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour batter into prepared pan and top with crumbs. Bake in center of oven for 45 minutes, until the cake is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cook before removing sides of springform, peeling off parchment paper, and transferring to a plate. Cut into slices and serve.
*Cake cake be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap