{Date night at Laurier Lounge and a Strawberry Rhubarb Hazelnut Coffee Cake}

Thank goodness it’s the weekend!

I had a tough and stressful Friday which included a parking ticket, getting to work late, having to work all morning in wet jeans after the ridiculous down pour we had. And to top it all off, having to wait in line for over an hour at the extremely disorganized Calgary Marathon expo after work and dealing with an extremely rude staff member when trying to pick up a package for my friend who is out of town.

Needless to say, after this day was done, I was in dire need of a nice date night out with a glass of wine to help me wind down from my less than stellar day. Me and the boy enjoyed a late dinner at Laurier Lounge, a French-inspired bistro located in the beltline in a two storey heritage house.

The boy went with their Cajun Chicken Burger ($15) – proclaimed on the menu as the second best burger in Calgary. Topped with spicy raspberry chutney, brie, garlic aioli & tomato.

For an extra $4 you could upgrade your side to a poutine – a  giant serving of crispy fries bathed in gravy and cheese curds.

I went with my favourite item on the menu, their Warren Buffet Burger ($16) – which they claim to be the BEST burger in Calgary (and I agree). Topped with onion, emmentaler cheese, horseradish & aioli, lettuce & tomato atop the juiciest and most tender filet mignon patty. Served with a side of grilled romaine salad with a yummy balsamic dressing, parmesan and crispy bits of pancetta.

Baking this past week involved these gorgeous stalks of rhubarb from the Farmers Market..

And these juicy and sweet organic crimson strawberries..

Chopped up and folded into a simple batter for a delicious coffee cake inspired by smitten kitchen’s rhubarb streusel muffins.

I made some substitutions, like using turbinado sugar and graham crumbs for the topping as well as subbing honey from my aunt’s farm for the sugar in the recipe. I also subbed in 1/4 cup of the flour for crushed hazelnuts to add some extra flavour to the cake.

I was a little worried with all the sub-ins, but in the end, it turned out fabulous!

Tender chunks of sweet and tart berries and rhubarb perfectly swirled in each biteful of cake. The crumbly layer of sweet streusel on top added just the right amount of sweetness and texture contrast to the moist cake underneath. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe again subbing in seasonal fruits as they appear at the farmers market. Cinnamon apples & walnuts, gingered peach & almonds or lemony apricots & pistachios…the possibilities are endless.

C&G’s Rhubarb Strawberry Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Streusel

  • 1/4 cup graham crumbs
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (you can sub brown sugar if you don’t have any)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 ground hazelnuts (toasted and pulverized in my magic bullet)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb and strawberries (or fruit of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 glass pyrex dish.

Make streusel: In a small dish, stir together all the dry ingredients. Stir in butter until crumbly with a fork. Set aside.

Make cake: In a small bowl, combine flour, ground hazelnuts and baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine melted honey and butter. Stir in eggs, milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla; whisk together until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix well. Gently fold in rhubarb mixture with wooden spoon. Pour batter in the baking pan and sprinkle the top with the streusel.

Bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

Making this reminded me of that Seinfeld episode with the infamous Drake’s coffee cake..haha. Love that show.

So tonight, instead of the usual ritual of a giant pasta meal for my pre-race dinner, this was what I had tonight:

  • cucumber, tomato and snap pea salad lightly dressed and topped with raw walnuts
  • quinoa vegetable pilaf
  • slice of sourdough with a light smear of goat cheese and a sprinkle of herbs de provence and pepper
A nice balance of protein, fats and carbs. Fresh, delicious and not too filling.

Oh yea.. and I may or may not have enjoyed one of these mini maple bacon donuts from Jelly Modern Donuts.

I bought 6 of these and shared 4 of them with our neighbour and kept 2 for me and the boy. There was NO CHANCE this was going to make it in my house till tomorrow without being devoured.

Well I’m off to hit the hay pretty quick here and will be waking up bright and early to my 3rd year racing in the Calgary Marathon (I’ll be doing the Half Marathon this year).

This also marks my 3rd year of running! Here’s to my 8th half marathon and hopefully many more. Wish me luck!

Comments
2 Responses to “{Date night at Laurier Lounge and a Strawberry Rhubarb Hazelnut Coffee Cake}”
  1. Tatiana says:

    I am SO making this cake. My kind of dessert – fruit, nuts, cake. Oh so good.

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