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STRUSEL CAKE A LA MARTHA ******

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Cardomom Streusel Coffee Cake with Rita Moreno

SERVES 10 TO 12

For the Streusel:
18 whole cardamom pods

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups low-fat plain yogurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vegetable-oil cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake cardamom pods on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely. Finely grind cardamom in a spice grinder. Pass through a large-mesh sieve; set aside.

2. Prepare the streusel; Whisk flour, brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, and the salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.

3. Coat a 10-inch nonstick angel-food-cake pan with cooking spray; set aside.

4. Prepare the cake; Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, the cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the yogurt. Mix in vanilla.

5. Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with 2 1/2 cups streusel. Top with remaining batter. Squeeze remaining streusel into large and small clumps; sprinkle on top of batter. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan by slightly raising removable center piece; invert onto baking sheet, and then reinvert onto wire rack to cool completely.

Note: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living, January 2006

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