Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mrs. Fixit

It's not a big deal! You don't get it. You can't help me! I hear my teenager yell as I furiously knock on his locked door, in another futile attempt to understand him. My right is his wrong, my principles become his defiance, my advice rejected as intrusion. I've hit a brick wall.

So I baked. And failed miserably too, I thought. I am not a confident baker. I over-filled the bundt pan with cake batter so that halfway through baking time, I had a thick flow of yellow magma creeping down the mold, dripping through the rack, burning into a black heap. But, wait, what was left in the cake pan looked salvageable, and with a little quick thinking and desperate creativity, I sliced off the nasty bits, made a sugar glaze and fixed it. Not bad for a potential complete disaster!

I thought of my teenager, looked at my cake and realized, hmm, maybe someone's trying to tell me something. It's not that bad. You can fix it. It will all work out in the end.

Streusel Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Gourmet February 2002 issue

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup (250g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 whole large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest

Preheat oven to 175 deg C or 350 deg F.

Stir together granulated sugar, flour, salt, and 3/4 cup brown sugar in a large bowl, then blend in 3/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized lumps. Transfer 3/4 cup of this to a bowl and blend in cinnamon, remaining butter and remaining brown sugar until crumbly. Stir in pecans and chill topping for 15 minutes.

Whisk together sour cream, whole egg, yolk, vanilla, baking soda and zest, then stir into remaining flour mixture until just combined.

Pour into a 9 1/2 inch buttered springform pan and sprinkle with streusel topping, pressing it lightly into batter. Bake for about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan.

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