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let them eat coffee cake

Sunday. 04. 1. 2012.

In a previous post, I mentioned that my mom didn’t bake. With the aid of My First Cook Book (borrowed from the library) I baked cupcakes. We didn’t have a muffin pan at the time, so I’d bake them in the paper cups on a tray. They usually turned out lopsided. I borrowed that book from the library so many times. I didn’t make anything else other than the cupcakes but wished I could make some of the other things in the book. I didn’t actually even read the book, just marveled at the pictures of the stuff I could make/would like to make.

Tomorrow starts the week before Easter weekend. I’ve got the week off but I’ll be spending the days before Easter weekend at the shop helping out with the possible madness. It’s not as crazy as Christmas and this year, we’re much more organized. I usually like to bring something in for the boys and Barbara. The people at my work are like my extended family. I also don’t eat much of what I bake, with the exception of cookies and rhubarb pie. I usually have a piece and that’s enough for me.

So I baked Pioneer Woman’s coffee cake. On her blog she claims that it’s THE best coffee cake ever.
(http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/06/the-best-coffee-cake-ever/)

I didn’t have coffee cake until my later years in high school. A friend’s mother would bake coffee cake from a box. The President’s Choice Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate-cinnamon streusel. I remember having it for the first time and asking what kind of crack she put in it. I asked for the recipe and learned that it was a cake in a box. I bought and baked it once but it wasn’t popular in my household. We’re not big on cakes and cookies. I grew up eating egg tarts and Swiss rolls from the Chinese bakery.

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Brown sugar is usually available in 500g packets here in Sweden. It’s not so commonly used. It would appear that most baking that required that brown sugar taste uses syrup instead. The North American style cakes and cookies are not in the Swedish traditional baking. I’m sure there’s an explanation that involves the kind of sugar that is used in Sweden (from sugar beets) and the processing involved that results in the selection of sugar and sugar products. I’m not going to go into it. I’m trying to focus long enough to get this post done and posted.

Anyways. This 2kg bag of brown sugar was purchased in Canada and brought back in my handbag. At the supermarket I pointed out that for the price of 500g of brown sugar in Sweden, I can purchase a 2kg bag of it in Canada. I didn’t expect him to suggest that I get it and just bring it back in my handbag. I go through a Swedish brown sugar after about 2 batches of cookies.

If you haven’t had a chance to read through the recipe for the coffee cake, let me warn you that it’s not for the health conscious. The recipe uses 3 sticks of butter. Yes. 3. 170g in the cake batter and 170g in the streusel topping. So the cake is already buttery and it’s basted in more butter. Brown sugar and cinnamon flavored butter, mind you.

Egg whites are whipped before it’s added to the batter. It does make a nice fluffy cake. I also added 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the streusel.

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The cake turned out rather nicely. The streusel topping didn’t sink into the cake like Pioneer Woman’s version. Next time I might swirl it with a knife before putting it into the oven. The amount of streusel is just right. I like my coffee cake to have a nice thick layer of topping. If I wanted a yellow cake, I’d bake a yellow cake. The cake itself is very moist, which is a nice quality in cake.

I can’t say that it’s the best coffee cake EVER because I haven’t had enough experiences with coffee cakes to make that judgement but I would say that it is a very good cake. I’m giving credit to the butter.

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