5 weeks ago
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sihan of Fundamentally Flawed chose this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Blueberry Crumb Cake. I wanted to make this one as soon as I saw that Sihan had picked it, because I love a good crumb cake, and I had a hunch that this one would be great. And Dorie promises that it is "easy to find an occasion to serve it -- breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or snacktime will do." It doesn't get more versatile than that!
My problem is that I tend to dive into things without really thinking through the consequences of diving in at that particular moment. Do I have the time to complete the task? Do I have the necessary resources? Am I in a position to give the project my full attention? Will undertaking this project now cause me trouble down the road? Heck if I know! But there is usually only a minimal time lapse between me deciding, for example, that I should really clean out my garage, and my garage being completely emptied out. And only then do all of the reasons why now is not a good time to clean out the garage come to light.
Well, I wanted to make this crumb cake in a major way, and a Saturday morning breakfast seemed like the perfect time. So on a whim I just dove in one Saturday and started measuring things and mixing things while the kids swarmed around me wanting/needing things (but in a good way!). Measure brown sugar, wipe a nose, wash hands, measure flour, change to different Max & Ruby because we just saw this one, add salt, or did I already add the salt?, pull toddler out of pantry, chop some walnuts, pull pony hair accessory out of toddler's mouth, zest a lemon, break up fight over who is blocking whose view of the TV (which, despite all of its hype and promise, is a really useless babysitter). Honestly, it's a wonder I don't screw things up more.
Well, somehow I got everything mixed up; I spread the batter in the pan; and I topped the batter with the crumb topping, which, incidentally, I overmixed. See?
No matter, I figured I'd just break it up while I put it on the cake. Anyway, so my cake was completely assembled and ready to go into the oven, when I suddenly realized that I forgot the vanilla. I panicked. I feel like vanilla is one of the more important teaspoons in many recipes. My mind raced back to my Christmas cookie baking, when I forgot vanilla in some chocolate cookies I was making, and they were horrible -- I had to trash them.
QUERY: WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE IN MY SHOES?
(a) baked the cake without the vanilla and hoped for the best
(b) scraped the topping off the batter, dug out the batter and put it into a bowl, and tried to mix in the vanilla back in without turning my cake purple
(c) I would not be in your shoes, you dumbass
Well, seeing as I am as cool under pressure as John Roberts administering an historic oath of office, you just KNOW that I opted to disassemble my cake and try to mix in the vanilla after the fact.
Oh yeah, not really the effect I was going for. That said, my four year old took one look at it and said "it's purple! I want to be a purple fairy when I grow up!", ran out of the room, and returned as a purple fairy:
I'm glad my cake inspired someone.
The problem here is that not only was my cake purple, but I am sure that the vanilla was not fully and evenly incorporated, because once it started changing colors, I chickened out. Anyway, nothing to be done at this point but to put it all back together again and bake it:
Well, I am pleased to report that this is a very forgiving cake. We thought it was delicious, and in fact, once it baked it was not even overly purple (as you can see from the picture at the top). The crumb topping absolutely made the cake. In fact, the topping was so good that David noted that there was a little bit of a Seinfeldian "top 'o the muffin to ya!" quality about it -- it was so amazingly good, that the cake was in some danger of being relegated to "stump" status. But it would really not be fair for us to judge the cake since I left out the vanilla. And we agreed that the cake was really, really good, topping or not. I will make this again -- I will just proceed in a more organized fashion next time. Thanks for the great pick, Sihan!!
Posted by Cathy at 12:01 AM