Friday, March 4, 2011

Key Lime Crumb Cake

I have always wondered where the Starbucks coffee shops gets their baked goods.  Since each store does not order locally, the product must be shipped in frozen from a national bakery as chosen by their corporate office. Most of the stores have the same thing, but sometimes they carry specialty items for the particular state in which they are located. Regardless of location, Starbucks does not carry any freshly baked items.

Even taking that into consideration, there are a lot of Starbucks' copycat recipes on the net.  This means that while we are not loving the frozen baked goods, we are pleased with the concept.  The copycat recipes have turned the original flavor concept of a few of Starbucks baked goods into a better tasting, homemade item.

This Key Lime crumb cake recipe is exactly that.  It cannot be found at a Starbucks in Texas, but it is noted that some of their Florida locations have this cake available.  This recipe is for one 9 inch cake that serves 10-12 people.

Key Lime Crumb Cake
adapted from good life gourmet blog

Ingredients/Lime Filling
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
4 eggs
3 tbs lime zest
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar

Note that this filling makes 1/3 of a cup too much. You can use the excess filling later or try to scale down the amounts. Scaling down 1/3 is a little difficult, so I have excess.

With an electric mixer, beat all 4 eggs and then place in a saucepan.  Add lime juice, zest, salt and sugar.  Set saucepan over medium heat and cook mixture, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.  Cook until batter thickens into into a pudding-like consistency.  This should take about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Take out a mesh strainer or sieve and place over a medium size bowl.  Pour lime batter into strainer.  Stir and push mixture through strainer.  Continue until the only thing left in strainer is lime zest and filling is in the bowl.  Then mix the sweetened condensed milk into the filling until smooth.  Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 1 hour to cool.  While this is cooling, the cake batter can be made.

Ingredients/Crumb Cake
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
6 tbs unsalted butter (room temp)
2 eggs (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Grease and flour the inside of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set bowl aside.

In another bowl, mix together sugar and lemon zest by using a fork or your hands.  Make sure the zest is evenly distributed into the sugar.  Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  This should take about 3-4 minutes.

With the electric mixer on low speed, beat one egg into the lemon sugar.  Then beat in the additional egg. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream, mixing until smooth. Turn off mixer. Pour the sifted ingredients into the cake batter and stir with a wooden spoon so no dry ingredients remain.  Set aside and make streusel.

8 tbs or 1 stick of butter melted
pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups of flour
1/3 light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix together both sugars in a medium size bowl.  Then add the butter until all is combined.  Pour in the flour and salt, stirring until mixture is crumbly.  If your mixture seems too wet, add more flour until it reaches desired consistency. Set aside.

I found that assembly is the hardest part of this recipe since this is not a very thick cake.  Place 1/3 of the cake batter in the pan.  Using a wet offset spatula or knife, smooth out batter to edges in pan.  Make sure all the bottom is covered and batter is even.

Take 2/3 of the filling or if you scaled down the recipe, take all and pour it over the cake batter in the pan.  Smooth it out, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the edge.  The rest of the cake batter is to be spooned out and dropped on top of the filling.  Place a small teaspoons all around the edges and bigger tablespoons to the center.  Again, take a wet spatula or knife and smooth out.  If some filling comes through the top, do not worry because the streusel will cover it.

For a distinct line of key lime running through the middle of the cake the batter and filling should not get mixed in the smoothing process. It is difficult since there is not a lot of cake batter. However, a little mixing will only slightly impair the looks, not the taste.  I am sure we all agree that taste takes priority over appearance.

Lastly, evenly sprinkle the streusel on top of the batter and place pan in oven to bake for about 40-50 minutes.  If using a tester on the cake, only push it in 1/3 of the way down. Otherwise, you will hit the filling and the tester will not come out clean.

Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and then slide a knife around the edges. Take the outside ring of the spring form pan off the cake.  Place the cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours for filling to set up. Once you are ready to serve, the topping can be sprinkled with confectioners sugar for an extra touch.  Store cake in fridge.