Tag Archives: NYC baker

slice of crumb cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake…Updated to be More Delicious

Okay, by now you are so sick of hearing about sour cream coffee cake, as related by me in Sections 1 and 2 of this Epic Poem to Martha Stewart‘s Classic Crumb Cake.

But don’t quit reading quite yet! Because I’ve made some tweaks that have this baked breakfast cake getting even better!

Martha Stewart's Classic Crumb Cake
Martha Stewart’s Classic Crumb Cake

Tweak #1: Using the correct size pan. Duh. As you may remember, I didn’t think I had a 9×13 pan so I used a loaf pan instead. Well turns out I DID (insert Derek Zoolander voice here) have a 9×13 glass pan, and really I think that helped so much in getting a good cake to crumbly topping ratio going (i.e. more crumb topping please!!!)

Tweak #2: In the cake, I added brown sugar to give some extra moisture and richness. To do this, I straight substituted half of the called for white sugar with the same amount of light brown sugar.

Tweak #3: To amp up the flavor of the cake, I added cinnamon to the cake, and not just the crumb topping.

Tweak #4: The topping seemed really dry to me the first time around, so this time, I cut the amount of flour in half and cut the amount of butter by about a third, so that overall, the topping was damper. I kept the same amount of sugar though so that it would be proportionally sweeter!

Tweak #5: I ditched the knives I was using to cut the butter into the flour and sugar for the crumb topping and went with fingers – so much easier and quicker! I made sure that all the dry bits were coated with butter…or really that all the butter chunks were coated with flour and sugar…so that there wasn’t any dry powder remaining.

That’s about it! I found this version to be so much moister and sweeter, which is really what I prefer in my coffee cake. Unfortunately no new pics because I brought it to a party where it was basically all eaten, save for two pieces I had for breakfast the next day. It pretty much looked the same as the first time, except not as tall (due to the larger, shorter pan)….so you get the idea.

 

chocolate roulade

Finishing Up Leftover Ingredients: Heavy Cream in Mocha Roulade

In Parts 1 & 2 of my “How to Use Up Leftover Ingredients” quest, I made Martha Stewart’s recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake, using up leftover sour cream that would otherwise go to waste from the Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies recipe.

On the same morning that I worried over how that cake would turn out (well, in fact), I also ventured to make Martha’s Mocha Roulade, which is essentially a rolled sponge cake filled with mousse, in order to use up some leftover heavy cream.

Not having espresso in the house, and since Mark doesn’t like coffee flavoring, I basically skipped the “mocha” part of this recipe, and went straight at it from a chocolate cake/chocolate mousse perspective.

It seems like most bakers would consider the roulade (rolling up what is essentially a flat cake without it breaking) to be the more difficult part, I actually found the chocolate mousse the most challenging.

I melted the chocolate and whipped the egg yolks well enough (maybe?).

melting chocolate
melting chocolate – double boiler

Then the recipe calls for boiling sugar, corn syrup and water, and then adding that mixture to the whipped egg yolks. Frankly, I’m not sure if I just didn’t bring the sugar syrup to a high enough temperature (being lazy and not using a thermometer) or what, but there were some hardened clumps of corn syrup which never evened out. Do I even need the corn syrup? Can I just make a simple syrup with sugar and water? Discuss.

For the mousse, you whip up some heavy cream and fold that into the chocolate/egg/sugar mixture as the final step to create that airy, silky mousse….which mine was not.

Either way, the mousse ended up tasting fine but it definitely was not as light and fluffy as I think it should’ve been. Plus, ya know, clumps of hardened corn syrup.

While the mousse was chilling, I turned my attention to the chocolate sponge cake for the other half of my roll.

This was so interesting to me – never having made a sponge cake before, I thought for sure that my batter was way to wet and light. It was almost just like whipped egg with a pinch of chocolate flavoring added in. Also, interesting that you whip the egg yolks and egg whites separately and then combine them gently together.

Once the cake was baked, the fun really began!! On a tea towel dusted with cocoa powder, I laid out the baked cake, and while still warm, gently but tightly rolled the cake into a log, incorporating the tea towel.

chocolate on a tea towel - ready to roll sponge cake
chocolate on a tea towel – ready to roll sponge cake
sponge cake
chocolate sponge cake
rolled sponge cake
rolled sponge cake

Once, completely cooled, I unfurled the cake to reveal a slight curved cake – like the way my yoga mat looks when I unbundle it on the floor before class, where the edges are curled up.

I spread my mousse out on the cake and rerolled it to create the swirled mousse/cake log. I really thought this turned out a-okay for a first roulade attempt. My lessons were really all about the mousse: 1. make sure egg yolks are seriously whipped, 2. use simple syrup instead of this weird corn syrup mixture, 3. make sure it’s light and fluffy!

FYI I still didn’t end up using up all the leftover heavy cream from the Caramel Sauce recipe I made last week, but oh well.