just about every sunday morning, i head out to the demonstration and research garden to work with my fellow master gardeners. it may sound like a bad way to spend a sunday morning but it is actually a lot of fun when a group of us get together for the purpose of tending the many beds. yes it is social, but we also have the opportunity to learn about all things “garden.”
did i mention the cake? it is hard to get volunteers to crawl out of bed early on a sunday morning so i have taken to bribing them with homemade cake. every saturday evening, i bake a cake to take out there on sunday morning. on the rare occasion that my husband can join me due to his insane work schedule, i let him choose the flavor; he chose chocolate chips this time.
one of my favorite types of coffee cake is a classic crumb cake. tons of cinnamon scented streusel on top of a dense vanilla cake dusted with a barrel of powdered sugar. mmmmmmm…add some chocolate chips and a cinnamon nut swirl and you just hit that one over the fence! when i want a coffee cake like that, i reach for my worn out copy of the cake bible by rose levy beranbaum and i turn to her sour cream coffee cake recipe.
so, here i was in my kitchen on a saturday evening preparing to bake the coffee cake for my trip to the garden sunday morning. how hard could that be? oven set to 350 for preheating. the food processor came out to make the crumb topping. then i began to measure the ingredients for the topping and the ribbon since they are prepared first. light brown sugar(bag of dark is open, i grab that instead), sugar, pecans, cinnamon, cake flour, CAKE FLOUR!!! uh oh, no cake flour; out came the all purpose and the corn starch to make a quick substitute.
next up, the butter for the topping and the cake, egg yolks, wait; let’s make that 2 whole eggs rather than 4 yolks-i don’t want left over whites. back to it; sour cream-hmmm, it shouldn’t be neon pink now should it? no problem, i’ve got buttermilk. moving right along, vanilla, cake flour(or should i say pretend cake flour), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and let’s not forget those chocolate chips!!!
needless to say, it pays to stock the larder and to check it for the ingredients before you get started. but despite the missing ingredients, the cake came out fantastic and for a change, the squirrels did not get a single crumb!!!