Monday, May 27, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake has always been a favorite of mine. Its moist cake and crunchy topping make a perfect combination. Coffee Cake was the first cake I ever made myself from scratch, just an fyi.

In the house, we had some leftover apples and I wanted to use it in some fashion. Then I remembered how Costco has an "Apple Streusel" type muffin and I decided I would try and recreate it in Coffee Cake form.

I used Ina Garten's recipe from her Blueberry Crumb Cake and tweaked the cake portion to contain apples and cinnamon and tweaked the crumb topping to contain some oats.

For an experiment recipe, it was a step in the right direction. It was moist, and I liked how I added in the oats into the crumb topping, giving it a nutty aspect. I would maybe add more apples to really get a prominent apple flavor in every bite though. Overall, a good day's work in my book!

Apple Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Adapted recipe by Me
Original recipe (Blueberry Crumb Cake) by Ina Garten

For the streusel: 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup diced apples, (Gala or Granny Smith)

For the icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel: Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour, oats and walnuts. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake: Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, cinnamon, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the diced apples and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the icing: Combine the powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake and allow to harden.

-Aaron John

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Chicken Strips

Well, it's that time of year, I feel like everyone I know is graduating or done with their undergraduate career and here I am, stuck for another year. Can you say Super Senior? A part of me wishes I was graduating so that I can just be done with this chapter of my life yet the other part of me is glad because I don't feel completely set for the real world yet.

Either way you look at it, one more year and I'll be the one graduating with a degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry and a minor in Diversity. Until that time, it's time to eat Chicken Strips. Deep fried chicken anyone?

For this recipe, I literally used what I had on hand. Basically, I diluted sour cream until it reached the consistency of buttermilk and added whatever spices I had. A little dip here and a dip there and Chicken Strips appear like magic. The magic of hot oil that is. 

Chicken Strips
Recipe by Me

2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch thick pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
Garlic powder
Blackening Seasoning
1 1/2 cups flour
Canola oil for frying

In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream and water. (You can also use buttermilk instead of the sour cream/water combo). Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and blackening spice to taste. Try with about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp each and increase from there. You want enough of this mixture to coat the chicken completely.

Once seasoned to taste, add in the cut chicken breasts and let the chicken marinate for about 30 min to 1 hour.

In a clean paper/plastic bag, add in the flour. Season with about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp blackening seasoning. Add in the chicken pieces that were marinating and shake the bag until the chicken is coated evenly. If desired, dip the chicken back into the marinade mixture and back into the flour and shake again. This will give the chicken a thicker coat.

Onto a plate, place the chicken in a single layer to allow the coating to "dry". This will ensure the coating won't fall off during the frying process. Let it sit for about 10 to 15 min.

In a pot or a deep fryer, heat canola oil to 350 degrees. Make sure the oil is not filled over half the depth of the pot. Once heated, add in the chicken strips about 3 or 4 at a time, depending on the size of the pot/deep fryer and fry until golden brown for about 6 min total, flipping the chicken halfway through.

Remove from the oil and cool on a cooling rack. Repeat the process of frying the rest

-Aaron John


Related Posts with Thumbnails