Sunday, August 8, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake or Muffins

A recently brought home a copy of Vegan Yum Yum, so I cracked it open one day and made the Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake. OMG, to die for good! As always, I tinkered with the ingredients to cut out some fat, change up the flours and use a different egg substitute. I decided to try making muffins as it's quite dangerous to have a GIANT pan of coffeecake just sitting around staring at me, taunting me to eat it. So for the sake of my hips and thighs, I decided to make muffins as I can easily freeze those single servings of deliciousness.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake or Muffins
Makes 16 servings of cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:

3 heaping cups of strawberries (about 1 lb)
6 stalks of rhubarb, chopped into 2 inch pieces, about 3 cups
1 cup sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Cake Batter:

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups soy milk plus 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Earth's Balance margarine
1 mashed ripe banana
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP chia seeds mixed with 3 TBSP water

Crumb Topping:

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup Earth's Balance margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1) Begin by making filling. Hull & chop strawberries into bite sized pieces. Chop rhubarb into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.

2) Add strawberries & rhubarb to a large pot. Add sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Turn heat to low & stir well.

3) Mix cornstarch, lemon juice and water together in a small bowl and add to strawberry-rhubarb mix, which should be liquidy by now, and turn heat to medium.

4) Stir constantly; don't try to multitask just yet. Mixture should be light pink & milky at first but will gradually become thick, dark red & transparent. After it changes, cook for another minute then taste. If it's grainy, stir well & let it cook for few more minutes to fully dissolve cornstarch. If it's smooth, remove from heat & allow to cool. Once cool, you can puree it a bit in a blender or food processor if you choose.

Now for the batter:

1) Preheat oven to 350*F and lightly oil a 9x13 inch baking dish.

2) Stir flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda together in a large bowl.

3) Combine soy milk & apple cider vinegar in small bowl. Set aside to let it curdle for a few minutes.

4) Cream margarine, sugar & banana together until well combine. Add curdled soy milk, vanilla, chia seeds & water to creamed mixture. Beat until well combined.

5) Add wet mix to dry mix and combine until fully mixed, be careful not to over stir!

6) Scrape cake batter into greased pan, setting aside 1 cup of batter. Pour strawberry rhubarb mixture over top with spatula. Use large spoon to dollop reserved batter over top of filling.

7)Make crumb topping by mixing flour, sugar, margarine & cinnamon together, using your hands, fork or pastry cutter to combine until it is a crumbly texture. Sprinkle over top of cake batter & bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

For muffins:

I discovered that about half of the strawberry rhubarb filling is PLENTY to make 24 muffins. I ended up putting the leftover filling from the first batch into the fridge & just used it for another batch. Same with the crumb topping too. I filled muffin tins about 1/3 full with batter, added TBSP of filling, a tsp of batter on top & liberally sprinkled the crumb topping over each muffin. Bake at 350*F for about 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. These freeze beautifully, so don't be afraid to make a whole bunch and toss in a ziplock bag and freeze so you're not tempted to devour them all at once! ;)

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