Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

by byn on February 15, 2012

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

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This post has nothing to do with baking, and everything to do with Whitney Houston. Just a warning up front.
 
Sometime before Christmas, I read somewhere (can’t remember where) about how Terry McMillan had written a sequel to her book Waiting to Exhale, which I read about 10 years ago. I thought I should re-read the original before the new one, so I went to the library, where they had to dig it out of storage for me. It sat on my nightstand for most of December and all of January. Last Sunday night, for cosmic reasons unknown to me at this time, I picked it up and started it, finishing on Friday night after work. After a google chat with Danielle, and a swim, I popped in my DVD of Waiting to Exhale, and as I watched I wondered mostly about whatever happened to Lela Rochon, and laughed that her sweaty man Michael went on to play Bunk on The Wire. I also thought that I should put my Whitney playlist back on my iPod for the gym.
 
On Saturday afternoon I returned my book to the library and picked up the sequel, Getting to Happy. I started reading it on the subway headed up to Aoife’s birthday party. The first chapter is told from the point-of-view of Savannah, the character Whitney played in the movie. And I was thinking about who should be cast as her husband in the movie version (I assumed there would be one). An hour later, my friend Emily arrived at the party and told us all that Whitney was dead.
 
What kind of weird voodoo is going on in the world where Whitney hadn’t even crossed my mind in ages, and then I was watching her 2nd best movie (after The Bodyguard of course) the night before she died?
 
Everyone is saying now that Whitney is the soundtrack to their lives, and I’m no exception. One of my first TAPES was ‘Whitney’ (I liked Side 1 better than Side 2), that I used to play on my little pink ghetto blaster in my room. No Grade 3 sleepover was complete without a Whitney dance party. I can remember what I was wearing (stirrup pants and a green sweater from Cotton Ginny) and who I went with (Beth, Natalee) to see The Bodyguard in Grade 7. My housemates and I would blast the “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” remix in our house in 2nd year at Laurier. I watched 10 years of American Idol and screamed at the TV when anyone would attempt one of her songs.
 
Unfortunately now we get to watch every talk show, entertainment show, blog and magazine pick apart her death, talk about the drugs, and everything that went wrong for her, and what could have been, just like they did with Michael. I’m going to avoid that as much as I can, finish Getting to Happy, and picture Whitney in my mind playing Savannah again.
 
What does this have to do with Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake? Absolutely nothing. I just needed to vent. This is another one from my archives, bookmarked on April 11, 2009. The best part is the crunchy crumb topping that tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. Yummy. I also made these cookies, but they were gross. Bananas belong in muffins, not in cookies. Now I’m snapping out of this funk because tomorrow this little blog turns 2!
 
Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake
 
 
Yield: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
 
Crumble Topping
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into chunks
1 tsp vanilla
 
Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup buttermilk
 
+ 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips for sprinkling on top
 
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375, and line your loaf pan with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick spray.
  2. To make the crumble topping, stir together the flour and brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork, knife or pastry cutter, until the mixture is crumbly (I used my fingertips at the end). Sprinkle the vanilla overtop and mix together until the mixture is moist. Set aside while you make the cake.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with your hand mixer until light and fluffy, then add the sugar and mix until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add 1 tbsp of this mixture to a little bowl, and add the mini chocolate chips. Toss to coat and set aside.
  5. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well. Then add the buttermilk and blend. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the flour-coated chocolate chips and gently fold into batter. Pour batter into loaf pan.
  6. Sprinkle crumble on top, and bake for 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (I baked mine for a little longer, just to make sure). Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top when you take the loaf out of the oven.
  7. Let the cake cool completely before removing.
  8. Brainstorm: divide the crumble in half and add a layer in the middle of the loaf! The crumble is really what makes this cake.
 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Duoimagery March 9, 2012 at 12:20 am

This looks so absolutely delicious! Beautiful! -beth

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Jill February 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Robyn – what a beautifully written post.

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Stacey February 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

Oooh! Robyn! This chocolate chip crumb cake looks tasty. You are making me want to get my bake on again! I’ve sort of stopped lately, as the last thing I made was a variation on healthy pumpkin walnut muffins where I mixed some whole grain oats into the regular flour – but they barely rose and, well, were kind of boring-tasting because I was trying to hold back on the sugar and make them more healthy… I used some molasses but probably not enough. SCREW HEALTHY! I WANT DELICIOUSLY EVIL BAKED GOODS! MUAHAHA! Ahem. Anyways I guess part of baking is learning what works and what doesn’t – congrats on conquering yeast! (I’m still not fully there either) and my boyfriend may know a thing or two about ube, I know we’ve eaten it before with his family – let me ask him. :) Cheers!! -Stacey

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