Strawberry almond crumb cake
I had a post written up about our time in Istanbul. About the day we went to the Grand Bazaar and got locked in a windowless rug shop with what I swear was the Turkish mafia. And I was almost certain they weren't going to unlock the doors and set us free until we handed over our American dollars for one of those fancy, handwoven kilims that somehow survived decades of existing beneath feet. When I went to look for the post last night - to edit it for run-on sentences and my typical overuse of commas - it was gone. My computer ate it. And unfortunately I don't have it in me to rewrite it this morning.
Note to self: Properly save your documents.
The kind (albeit pushy) businessmen let us out of the shop without purchasing a rug, which I regretted up until a week ago when I stumbled upon my dream kilim that caused my heart to beat at a rate of about 150BPM. I almost bought it until I realized I should probably seek approval from the person who shares the other half of the bank account because I'm fairly certain waking up to a purchase that costs almost as much as your monthly mortgage payment would be reason enough to initiate the Third World War. I got the ok from a very groggy Thom (Note to self: It's much easier to convince a person who's half-asleep) and .293 seconds later we were the owners of an authentic Turkish kilim. I came home early Monday evening and was greeted by a familiar musky aroma; the same aroma I sat in for a good hour while we were confined to that dimly lit rug shop. It's a smell most people would find offensive, but I find unusually delightful: The smell of a well-loved rug. One that looks so strikingly beautiful against our original hardwood floors that I don't even care that it's filled with years of accumulated dirt and other people's dead skin cells. So there's that.
Since my inability to properly save documents gave you the short end of the stick this morning, I figured I'd share a few things I found interesting/humorous/useful/downright delicious.
Elon Musk is pretty much the man after my tree-hugging heart.
I've been waiting for this for TWO YEARS.
CONGRATS, FUTURE EGGLADY!
Everyone should own one of these.
RDVE sold out in 48 hours (good thing I doubled December's batch), so thanks for that.
Notes: This was originally going to be a raspberry pistachio crumb cake, but when I got 6 pounds of organic strawberries for $4 at the farmers market the other day, I decided I had to go the strawberry route. This makes a pretty small loaf cake (only serving 6) so if you want something larger (like an 8-9" round or square cake) double the recipe - the baking time will only increase by about 5-10 minutes, so keep an eye (err, nose) on it. If you'd prefer to not use coconut oil in the crumb topping portion of the recipe, you can substitute 1/4 cup melted vegan butter in place of the coconut oil and almond milk. In the cake batter recipe you can substitute any neutral flavored oil. Oh, and the crumble itself is delicious over an assortment of mixed fruits (nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, etc.). There will actually be a mixed fruit crumble coming your way in the very near future.
PS - If you don't feel like turning on your oven, how about hot fudge ice cream sundaes? WITHOUT AN ICE CREAM MAKER.
STRAWBERRY ALMOND CRUMB CAKE
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
4 teaspoons almond milk
3 tablespoons cane sugar
2 tablespoons sucanat
Small pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoons almond milk, warm
1/4 pound strawberries, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 1 pound loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with oil; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat (or in a microwave), combine the oil and milk, and heat just until melted; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugars, salt, and flour. Drizzle the oil mixture over the flour mixture, then use a wooden spoon (or spatula) to combine the mixture until it resembles coarse meal with a few larger clumps. Toss in the almonds then set crumb topping aside.
In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Whisk in the almond milk (make sure it's warm or else it will cause the coconut oil to harden) and flour mixture, alternating in halves; whisk until no clumps remain. Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and top with strawberries followed by the crumb topping. Bake at 350˚F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for 45-60 minutes then lift from pan and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack. Cake will keep covered, at room temperature, for up to three days. When ready to serve, top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Yield: 6 servings