Sunday, May 18, 2008

New York Style Crumb Cake

After a long day of yard work I settled down to watch some of the shows that I had taped and never got around to watching. I had 2 America’s Test Kitchens to catch up on and the first one was Crumb Cakes. I watched as they made a delicious looking New York style crumb cake. I barely made it through he episode before I was falling asleep on the couch, but I stayed awake long enough to watch this particular recipe. Since I had all the ingredients on hand I decided to make it the next morning.

Sunday morning bright and early I’m making the crumb cake. 45 minutes later I am pulling out it out of the oven and it didn’t look right. Oh not right at all. I don’t know what went wrong….I followed the directions to a T. I generously covered it with pebbles of dough and my topping failed. I did not get a moist crumbly topping. Not a crumb in site, in fact my topping sank! After 20 minutes of rolling dough into pea-sized pebbles, the damn topping sunk!! I was not happy. “My cake is a failure,” I said to John. He took a piece. “Tastes good,” he said. “So it’s not a failure”. “But it doesn’t look pretty”. I replied. “Who cares” he said as he grabbed another piece. Oh well, at least it will get eaten.

I need to go back and watch the other crumb cake that was on the show. The preview said it was called Blueberry Boyfriend Bait. Maybe I will have better luck with that one.

So may I present to you my not so crumby crumb cake.
New York Style Crumb Cake
Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons, unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 ¾ cups cake flour

1 ¼ cups cake flour
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 piece, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

FOR THE TOPPING: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.

Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
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