The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Berry Buckle

July 24, 2013 , , ,

Crumbles and crisps are all the rage this time of year when berries are in full bloom at the farmers market. But the media this year in particular has unearthed a few more items to add to our repertoire. The buckle…the brown betty…sonker…the pandowdy….grunts…slumps. I won’t go into the details.

You can read all about the differences here (on Huffington Post)
Here (on the New York Times)
Here (on Food52)
Here ( on What’s Cooking America)

And that’s just the start of it.

Today, I’m here to talk about the buckle. A buckle is a single layer cake with berries added to the batter. The topping is a streusel, which gives it the buckled or crumbled appearance.


Yes please. This one in particular… A berry one with a roasted hazelnut streusel topping (Yup, went there) is nothing short of amazing. The recipe come from Food52 by way of Joy of Baking.

I like the streusel topping of the Food52 version. More butter, more spices with the added touch of a high-class hazelnut sits just right with me. But the batter and filling recipes of the Joy of Baking seems more suited to an original buckle. Is it worth the extra steps? Only another buckle attempt will tell!

For now we’ll just talk about Food52. I was thrilled to have another chance at using my leftover whey to replace the buttermilk. My only beef with the recipe is that I think it would be best to beat the egg, sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. This just has you using a whisk. I still ended up with a pretty great cake so who knows. I mixed in a bunch of different fruit because I was low on blueberries. No complaints on that end.


Hazelnut Streusel

• 3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts (you can use any other nut, but why would you?)
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground)
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1. Pulse hazelnuts in food processor until no large pieces remain. About 8 to 10 long pulses.
2. Add the brown sugar, flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Pulse several times to combine.
3. Add the butter, and pulse until incorporated, and the mixture looks damp and clumpy. About 8 to 10 pulses. Set aside until ready to sprinkle on the buckle.


Berry Buckle Batter

• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 large egg, cold
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
• 2 level to slightly less than level pints of berries — translation: it’s okay to snack on a few! (blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, marianberries, raspberries, etc..)

1. Preheat oven to 350º F with a rack in the lower middle position. Butter and flour a 2-inch deep 9-inch square, 10-inch round, or 11- by 7-inch rectangular pan. Set aside.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed, about 15 seconds.

3. Place butter in a glass bowl or 4-cup glass measure. Microwave for 25 to 35 seconds, until about half melted. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla to the bowl, then whisk until combined and mixture looks slightly fluffy. Gradually beat in the buttermilk (or whey!).

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the berries (some of the aggregate-style will break and discolor the batter, but it will come out fine in the end).

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with the streusel topping in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The top will be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near the center won’t have any batter clinging to it (though it may have berry juice or streusel on it).

6. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. No one will complain if you add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, but it’s also good enough to eat plain.



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