The next two cakes in ACC after The Man Catcher are pound cakes. I really didn’t want to keep bringing pound cakes to work, so I decided to move past them. I strategically promised them away to others so I had a guilt-free excuse to skip over them.
I settled on this coffee cake, which was convenient because I had sour cream left over from the Man Catcher. I like coffee cake as much as the next person, but it has a place in my heart because it reminds me of my brother (he once asked me to make him one). He’s coming home from China soon, so I’m sure I’ll break one out just for him.
I had to go buy cake flour for this recipe. I’ve never needed it before, so it was not in my kitchen. MG and ACC tell me that cake flour has about 4% protein (for comparison, bread flour has about 14%) and absorbs less moisture. As MG says, it “produces a light, delicate crumb.” If I had read what MG said in ACC more carefully, I would have noticed that she says that they’re normally sold in two pound boxes- it took me a while to notice it on the shelf because I wasn’t looking for a box.
I really enjoyed making this cake. It just felt very zen. I felt like I was in the zone. And yet again I marveled at my wonderful mixer, which I love!
Here’s something I discovered while making this cake: I love streusel. I’ve had plenty of coffee cake before, and therefore plenty of streusel; how did I not know this about myself before? I had a lot of fun making it- the Barefoot Contessa suggests using your hands, while MG says you can use a wooden spoon. I started with the spoon in an attempt to keep my hands butter free, but realized this was a futile action and put the spoon aside.
By the way, “streusel” means “something scattered or sprinkled” in German. The recipe calls for optional chopped walnuts. I skipped the walnuts this time.
I put this in the oven, cleaned the stand mixer, and got to work on another cake (Key Lime Cake), but I’ll talk about that in another post. Needless to say, it was kind of a hectic, action packed night.
The only thing I didn’t follow directions on was the way to prepare the pan. MG says to line the bottom with parchment paper, but I didn’t have any so I made do with spray and hoped for the best. I had a bit of a problem- some stuff stuck to the bottom, but that was easily ignored (no one could tell when I put it on a plate).
There is also a maple glaze (what’s with the glazes, MG?) that I made very easily (once again, in my wonderful amazing handy-dandy mixer.
I must say, I’m pretty impressed with how this cake looked when it was done. Yes, there are some cracks in the streusel at the top, but I think that makes it look better. I think it might be the prettiest cake I’ve ever made.
And the inside! Look at that squiggle! How did that happen? The layer I put in the middle was completely straight, and the cake didn’t drop at all, so why does the line drop in the middle? Maybe because that area cooks slowest so the streusel sinks? Whatever the reason, I loved the outcome.
As with my first cake, I took notes: “It looks so pretty. I love pretty cakes and this is SO PRETTY. Love it. Tastes cakey. A bit more dense than I thought it would be, but I guess coffee cakes are supposed to be like that? I don’t eat that much coffee cake.
I LOVE STREUSEL! It adds a nice crunchy bit to the cake. Also looks really cool inside. The maple glaze isn’t necessary but it’s really sweet! And tastes very maple-y.
Someone said “it’s perfect” and that made me happy. I also got a “damn you!” + “it’s really good” – Definitely a much better response to this than to the Man Catcher!”
Up next: Morgan’s first cake fail (Key Lime Cake).