09 February 2006

Coffee Crumb Cake

Yes, this is absolute goodness. A bit on the heavy side but certainly well-worth it and when I mean worth it, I mean, cost of ingredients, time, fatness, number of ingredients/steps in recipe, and the oven/kitchen setting fire... yes, this cake is still worth it.

I didn't know it was going to be this fabulous when I read the recipe from The Candle Cafe Cookbook. The first time I made this this is what happened (from previous post):
"Can't Have Your Guac and Cake and Eat it Too. "
Looks like the Ohio State people are done milkin' the good weather. What a crazy week around here. I am glad I live here and don't have to visit good weather. Today on Mill was more like a regular day, and I am super-glad that all this holiday bullshit is over. Whew.
I guess it works out that I was lazy about posting my homemade guac photos, because that came out like crap, and the next day I made a cake that came out like crap. In that case, I'll post both of these together and try to make another cake tonight during halftime.
It started out that I bought 3 avocados and decided to make guac for the first real time. Lydia makes it at work and its fabulous but I am too busy to just watch her make it and she is picky regarding sharing her stuff. In that case, I used my common sense and put together avocados (ripened), lemon juice (fresh), cilantro, tomatoes and onion. What the hell did I do wrong? How does one fuck up guac? I don't know but usually the answer to those questions is: Leslie fucks it up.
So the photos look great but the guac was shit.
Enough of that. I had guac at work today and I am happy and over it.
So then I'm flipping through this cook book (people in NY, do you know of The Candle Cafe? I think it's on the Upper East Side if there is such thing as that. Hmm.) Well, it has fabulous recipes in the book and I have had the book for 2 years now. I decided to go for it and make this cinnamon crumb cake that had a shitload of ingredients, some fancy ones too, and some expensive. It just so happened that I have stocked my pantry well and had all the stuff, so I prepared the cake. Everything was fine, it was pretty in 4 layers (2 layers were of chopped raw almonds and pecans and cinnamon/sugar mixture). I had it in the oven for 15 out of the 35 total minutes when all of a sudden my whole freakin kitchen was filled with smoke and the damn oven was on fire and I freaked out (as I am now afraid of fire, re: apartment fireplace fire last year). I was running around like an idiot until finally I realized I didn't have enough baking soda to put out the flames and a fire extinguisher was not the way to go in this case. So we were lucky, the fire went out and the whole house smelled like awesome cake that is now ruined.
Now the whole reason why the fire started in the first place was because I don't know better from a 9-inch pan and an 8-inch pan. I mean, come on, I didn't measure, and I guess that would have been the smartest most practical thing to do, but no, I am stubborn and that's just what I do. The hard stuff. So not knowing what size pan I had, I decided not to use a bigger one instead (why?) and just put the thing in the oven. After minutes of rising spillover, the fire sparked.
So I pull the pan out which is leaking batter EVERYWHERE and transfer it into a bigger pan. I called a few people who live close so I could possibly use their ovens to salvage my cake. From having a B.S. degree in Nutrition/Food Science but more really my common sense, I do know that once you take a cake out of the oven, or even open the oven during the first half of cooking, that will make the middle sink in and cause for the cake not to rise. I know that, duh. But because of all the freakin ingredients I used, all the time, energy, technique and fancy ingredients must I say again, I had to do what I could.
Finally I ran over to Nate's and that was an interesting drive. Ray stayed home watching the Fiesta Bowl (woo hoo its down the street!) and I drove as slow and carefully as I could 2 miles holding this cake half cooked runny oily dough in the passenger seat praying to whoever that there wouldn't be batter all over the car. I made it there and baked this damn thing for a whole another 45 minutes. That's longer than the initial baking time. I did what I could and mostly just watched through the oven hopelessly all the bubbly grease at the top and a sunken middle.
When I took it out (after obtaining 2 new CDs, D. Grisman and J. Garcia Not for Kids Only and a Bela Fleck (w/Edgar Myer) "classical" cd) the cake cooled and I brought it home.
It smelled fabulous so we had to try it. It tasted good but not what the consistency should have been. It was hard to chew, but flavor was good. I can now happily say that I did everything right until the sizing pan part. That fucked everything up but now I know. So tonight, I am gonna have a go at it again and see what happens. Ray's sis is staying with us for a few days so she is going to help me.
Here's evidence of the disaster but this looks great compared to how it was because you have to understand that I am not going to start taking photos of "the good stuff" while it is happening because to be completely honest, I was scared shitless and didn't even know what to think other than that we would have to evacuate (again) and freak out more. So, these are after photos and the mess is better, but you get the idea.

This is what we salvaged...

After the smoke cleared, I calmed down, and reached for the camera.

If you managed to get through the above, here's the ingredients and more wonderful stuff about this cake. I suggest indulging whenever possible. This cake is worth the fanciness of the recipe and ingredients. Try it.

Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake (I use organic ingredients wherever possible) By the way... this is a 4 layer cake. First batter, then topping, batter then topping. Yum.

Cake:Earth Balance or other margarine
Raw Sugar
Flax Seeds
Vanilla Extract
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Baking Powder (I use non-aluminum always)
Baking Soda
Sea Salt

Now you need a "sour cream mixture" to add to the cake mix:
Firm Tofu
Safflower Oil
Fresh Lemon Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar
Sea salt (again)
Topping: (the best best best part)
Raw Sugar
Chopped pecans, raw
Chopped almonds, raw
more Earth Balance (ugh, I know...)

This is the best cake I have ever made. Mmm. The cake firmed up and raised up a bit after cooling. It was best out of the oven, but I also prefer it cold and refrigerated. Either way, its the best cake ever. Yum.


Miriam said...

Funny. I was reading through the candle cafe cookbook today and when I looked at the coffee crumb cake recipe, I remembered your fiasco! hehe

EatPeacePlease said...

Yeah, yeah, Miriam. I was about to NOT post the story (if I had to re-write it) but it was easy. I thought just a few pics would do. Funny you remembered that, it started everything, the whole oven scare. I don't know what's up, but it has saved me from baking a lot! I have been making raw "Treats" instead, and using stove-top-only, as you can tell!