When we last left off, I had completely messed up my measuring of nearly all the ingredients in Martha Stewart’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. (Which by the way, when I look back, is actually referred to as a “Classic Crumb Cake.”)
I also decided to use a much smaller bread loaf pan instead of the cake pan the recipe called for, which I do not own and was not willing to buy specifically for this recipe (although which will probably be needed for many a future cake recipe).
The coffee cake was in the oven, smelling delicious (although that could have also been the vanilla-scented candle I had going in the apartment). But would be it be okay – taste and texture-wise? TBD.
After 40 minutes of baking and 10 minutes of cooling. I took the plunge and sliced in.
Unfortunately the center of the cake sort of deflated and got a sunken look in the middle. However the overall taste of the cake was pretty good, if not subdued.
It was very butter accounted for by the butter in all the batter, the topping and the heavily greased pan.
Although overall it was pretty good, a few changes I would make along the way:
If using the same loaf pan again, I would add less flour to the crumb topping and more cinnamon for a bolder flavor.
The cake itself isn’t very sweet, which is fine, but I might actually sub brown sugar in for the white sugar, for a bit richer taste.
And so, as to the measuring goofs? Well, I’m sure the sinking center was caused by some mis-proportion of eggs/leavening/etc. Also, I may be overthinking it, but I feel like I’m getting a little metallic aftertaste…perhaps slightly too much baking soda or the brand which I’ve been using
Why does everything take me so much longer than it should?
This morning I realized that I had open containers of both heavy cream (from previously made caramel) and sour cream (from previously made cookies) that I would never use in everyday life (not liking the texture of sour cream or whipped cream and not using cream in my coffee), just sitting in the fridge, waiting to go bad.
So I turned to Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, which was the root cause of me having these ingredients in the first place, to see what recipes I could make to use them up.
I came across 1. Sour Cream Coffee Cake and 2. Mocha Roulade.
Each of these cake recipes has two parts: 1. Making the actual cake and 2. Making the topping/filling.
Since the Roulade filling needed to chill for a number of hours, I decided to start there, however that will have to come in Part 3, because today, I’m going to focus on the Sour Cream Coffee Cake.
I started with the brown sugar crumble topping for the Sour Cream Coffee Cake. As I typically do, I cut the recipe in half because 1. I never need to eat alllllll the desserts I make and 2. because I didn’t have the right size cake pan so decided to improvise with a standard, smaller, bread loaf pan (9×5) instead of 13×9. We’ll see how that goes.
What overall should take me 30 minutes somehow takes me at least an hour and a half, every time. I’m not sure why because I feel like I’m moving methodically and with purpose, but when I look up at the clock, so much time has passed. Maybe it’s the inordinate amount of hand-washing I do while baking? (Who wants raw egg on their hands?)
I made the crumble topping which basically amounts to flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and lots of butter to form buttery chunks (FYI this topping would also be great on an apple crisp).
Then I made the cake batter. Or….and maybe this is what slowed me down….I had an incredible brain fart. What I understood to be a 1/4 cup measuring spoon was really a 1/2 cup measuring spoon. So while all my other ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, salt) were properly measured, I had inadvertently used WAY too much flour. Crap.
And since I had already mixed up the dry ingredients, I couldn’t think of a great way to salvage what I had mixed into the proper proportions.
So I started over.
I did, however, put the mis-measured mixture into tupperware to use for some future recipe.
After redoing the dry ingredients, I whipped up the butter and sugar. And darn it again. I used too much butter. Seriously, my brain is mush right now.
So I amped up my sugar, vanilla, eggs, and wouldn’t you know it, flour mixture, to compensate. Argh.
At this point, I’m fairly certain I have no idea what I’m doing or how this thing will even turn out because the ratios are probably out of whack, but oh well, pressing on because I’m not willing to start over again.
Adding the final touch – the leftover sour cream – a perfect amount left in the carton by the way – I spoon the batter into the loaf pan and top with about 1/2 of the topping because clearly even half the recipe was way too much. Making me nervous about the lack of surface area I have created on top of my cake….
It’s in the oven. 20 minutes left. Smells good. Wait for Part 2 to see if it’s gonna be okay. *grimace face emoji*