The basic rules of baking (or how to make the same recipe twice)

Always preheat your oven.
Read, then reread, your recipe before you begin.
Make sure you have all your ingredients on hand before you start the recipe.
Check to see that you have the time to bake your recipe before you put it in the oven.

What was that last one again?

Rhubarb Coffee Cake. It looked good, it sounded good, and it was another way to use up the large amounts of rhubarb that grow in my garden. Cobbler is good, but sometimes change is better. (Thanks to The Canadian Baker for the recipe!)

With my junior "assitant" otherwise occupied, I reread my recipe, gather my ingredients, preheat my oven and start baking. He catches on that I'm doing something just as I'm Pouring the batter into the pan, "What are you doing Mom? Can I help? Can I try it Mom? Are you going to use your timer Mom? But not your broken timer."

Into the oven goes, timer (not the broken one though), set for 1 hour and go on to something else.

Suddenly my watch beeps. It's 2:15pm, my daily reminder that it is time to finish what we are doing and get ready to go get the oldest from school.

Check the timer on the cake. Oh oh, does that say 30 minutes? I have to be at the school in 30 minutes. Hmmm compromise time. Turn the oven off, leave the cake in, and check it when I get back.

(Ironically, if I had waited 20 minutes to make the cake, I would have been fine!)

Well it doesn't look to bad - a bit sunken in the middle. The crumble topping isn't exactly topping the cake, but you can see pieces of it have submerged themselves in with the rhubarb.

Yes you eat with the eyes first, and so far the eyes are refusing anything, so on to the most important test - taste!

Not bad actually. Moist, though a bit denser than it should be. The rhubarb is so soft and so mellow it actually tastes more like apple.

However before this cake ever came out of the oven, as I was heading out the door, I was already determined that I would be making it again, properly, and making it again soon!

Rhubarb coffee cake - take two!

Version number one was good. I made it Thursday, it was gone by lunch Friday.

But did I say anything about the smell of it waffing through the house? No? That's because it was barely there, which is sad. One of the first satisfying signs of baking, to me at least, is the smell of your successful creation weaving it's way through the house, attracting everyone in it (and sometimes my neighbours too.)

Today the smell was amazing. Cinnamon, brown sugar.... Hmmm......

So the crumble topping is actually supposed to stay on top! (Okay, no big surprise there.) And the cake is supposed to rise in the center. Again, not really a surprise.

Texture wise, the difference is actually subtle. The crumb is a bit lighter, but not as much as I would have expected. Both were tender, both moist, but there is a small difference.

What is a surprise is the taste of the rhubarb. There is actually a bit of a tang to it, and it is very obviously rhubarb, not apple.

I think I actually prefered having the crumb a bit more submerged into the crumb rather than sitting on the top, though. It fell off very easily, making it difficult to have crumble and cake with every bite.

Overall the entire family has enjoyed both cakes, and this recipe is going to make it's way to my blue binder.

Of note, I did make one change to the original recipe, both times. In order to keep my house nut free I replaced the nuts in the topping with some oatmeal instead. Not being a fan of nuts in my baking to begin with, I didn't miss the nuts and enjoyed the texture that the oatmeal added to the crumble.

Hmm I wonder how it would taste if I used blueberries instead?

1 comment:

Nicole and Cool said...

Wonderful blog. It's just like you. Wonderful language and all about what you like to do. Cooking.

Love yah, Mom