Ugh- this is the worst post ever! Not because of the content, but because I keep trying to write it and I get distracted, or I write a bunch and lose it somehow (which happened more than once), or I just don’t have the time I need to sit down and just write about it. So my apologies on the tardiness- I made this cake over a month ago and am finally posting about it! So onto the post:
Sometimes I bake things and I just know they’ll turn out tasty. I just kind of trust in myself and my baking skills- I’m comfortable enough in the kitchen to have that kind of faith in myself. Generally things don’t go badly, as long as I follow directions. And I am usually able to taste test things before I share them with others.
Sometimes I bake things and have no idea if they’ll be any good or not. But I want things to taste good- that’s the point! I like feeding people and want to make things that they will enjoy. I can get a little anxious about these unknowns- I care about baking well, so I care what people think of my baked goods.
This cake (as like many of the cakes in ACC) was one of those unknowns: I fretted and hoped for the best because I wanted to impress the people that would be eating it. I really need to get over myself and this anxiety, but sometimes I can’t help it.
The absolute best thing about making this cake is that my Person (read: best friend in the whole wide word) Olivia was in town and she helped me make it! Olivia lives on the east coast because she is in grad school, but she was home for 10 days and it was heaven.
There are three components to this coffee cake: the cake, the streusel, and the stewed fruit. We started with the stewed fruit, which is basically sugar water on the stove, with fruit mixed in. MG says to use Granny Smith for bitter and Gala for sweet (but under no circumstances should you use Red Delicious! I’m not sure why, though- MG doesn’t explain). I picked Granny Smiths because I figured the cake would be sweet enough as it is with two cups of sugar…
I think I did the stewing wrong, or didn’t really pay attention well enough, or something. It took way longer than the 20 minutes MG says in ACC. And I think I let it get too thick- it probably should have been a bit thinner (and then there would have been more of it, too). But it worked.
While I manned the mixer and kept an eye on the stove (stirring the fruit every few minutes), Olivia threw together the streusel. It was a standard streusel: butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and walnuts.
Making the cake was pretty standard too: creamed the butter and sugar, added eggs, added the dry ingredients. Then we added the yogurt. Which was a new one for me- I’ve never put yogurt in cake before. When it was done, we poured out half of the batter into the pan, covered it in the stewed fruit, then some of the streusel, then the rest of the batter. Then came the last bit- Olivia and I were both a little fuzzy on exactly what MG meant by this one: “Move the spatula through the batter in 4 or 5 spots, angling it down, then bringing it up. This will spread the blueberry and apple syrup through to the bottom of the coffee cake.” We eventually decided what we thought this meant and did it, which seemed to work in the end. We topped it with the rest of the streusel and let it bake.
MG warns you that this cake will fall… but I wasn’t really expecting it to look the way it did. When it came out of the pan it nearly fell apart. Which totally freaked me out! It wasn’t pretty and it was almost falling apart and what if it didn’t taste good?
I should have had faith.
If there was ever a cake bake to put my best foot forward, it was this one. With some cakes I am pleased with the outcome; with this one, I was overjoyed. It was a really good cake. Perhaps a bit too sweet- it’s a good thing we used Granny Smith apples in the stewed fruit.
Olivia and I baked this to be a snack/dessert for a hike we were going on the next day with friends. It ended up being our lunch. We reheated the cake and enjoyed it while the weather cleared (it rained that morning). The hike was great- I havent really been hiking much recently. I used to all the time, when I was doing field work and studying rocks. Afterwards there was hanging out, happy hour and Dance Central (I am pretty bad at that game, but it’s really fun anyway).