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Friday, December 5, 2008

Babbo Modenese Crumbly Cake

This cake is amazing, and amazingly simple to make. It’s buttery, nutty, and… crumbly, of course. Perfect with a nice cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of sweet wine. The recipe was created back in 1999, when Babbo restaurant was still in its infancy. It became an instant hit and an all-time favorite. The recipe in the book suggests pairing the cake with a sweet and peppery ricotta cream, as well as figs cooked with honey and sweet wine – doesn’t this sound just out of this world?! The cake is so delicious on its own that you can serve it as is or with some seasonal fruits. What can I add to this besides say – you got to try it!

Another winner recipe from Mario Batali and his pastry chef, Gina DePalma, from his Babbo cookbook which I highly recommend you add to your cookbook selections. Lots of terrific recipes! And easy ones too, even though they are recipes from a restaurant.

By Gina DePalma, Pastry Chef
For 9 -inch springform pan


For the Streusel:
½ cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the cake:
¾ cup pine nuts
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup semolina flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
3 eggs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. To make the streusel: Combine the pine nuts, sugars, and flour and pulse to combine. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is combined and forms pea-size crumbs. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 -inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Spread the ¾ cup of pine nuts evenly onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. When the pine nuts have cooled, place them in the bowl of a food processor along with the flour, salt, semolina, baking powder, light brown sugar and half cup of the granulated sugar and pulse to combine. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the butter has dispersed and the mixture is finely textured.

4. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, olive oil, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the pine nut mixture and pulse to combine, then process for about 30 seconds to completely emulsify the batter. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the streusel.

5. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is golden brown and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean ( I find that I need to bake it 50-60 minutes – N.). Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and allow the cake to cool completely.

The recipe for Sweet Black Pepper Ricotta is here.

Have a wonderful and crumbly, ehhh... cozy weekend!

UPDATE: My mother-in-law, Anka, baked the cake. Here is the photo they took. She says it smelled so good, they ate it right out of the oven.

1 comment:

miri said...

Nurit, this cake looks so good! The flavors combo sounds so interesting. Just today I was going over her book, but in the end I've made something from another book.. I'll definitely give this one a try.