27 December 2010

TWD SNOWPOCALYPSE 2010 edition: Cardamom Crumb Cake

Today is my first snow day from work!  Yay!

scene from my window Sunday afternoon

Yesterday we were graced with a full-on blizzard.  It was very strange.  Christmas Day was sunny and not especially cold.  I was sitting on the couch as usual on Sunday afternoon, watching the Jets-Bears game and pressing fabric, when a scrolling headline caught my eye:  "The Vikings-Eagles game scheduled for 8 PM has been postponed due to weather."  What on earth could be going on over in Philly, I thought, to make them cancel an 8 PM game at 1:30?  I live only about 40 minutes outside of Philadelphia, so anything going on there weatherwise is usually happening here, too.  I turned my head to the window 2 feet away and saw the above and was like, ooooooh.  

It snowed hard all day and night.  No work today--which is more than fine, because I REALLY wanted another day, and anyway I couldn't get out if I wanted to:

 (that's my little Cloudmobile on the far left, and again, that was yesterday.  It's deeper now.)

So I decided to go ahead and make last week's TWD, which I had been putting off all week:  Dorie's Cardamom Crumb Cake, selected by Jill of the appropriately named Jill's Blog.

Now why had I been putting it off?  I like crumb cakes, especially if made by me.  And I haven't made one in a long while.  And this one sounded interesting:  cardamom, coffee, and orange all together.  But...the recipe sounded awfully fussy and suspiciously time-consuming for a crumb cake.  I think of crumb cake as the sugary version of quickbread--something very fast to throw together when you have company coming over or something.  This generally follows the quick-mix routine, but it requires a little bit of prep work (butter at room temp, grating orange zest, making and cooling coffee, melting and cooling butter, smooshing zest into sugar), which honestly is often a little more than I can handle when I wake up in the morning and my body is like GRRRRAAAARRR FOOOOD NOOOOWWWW AAAAAAAARGH.  I can skip dinners with no problem, but breakfast is non-negotiable.

My Household Supervisor is even more noisy and insistent than my own stomach in the mornings, which also blocks my morning cooking capabilities.

But today I was up late and decided to go on and give it a whirl.  First thing I noticed is that I am nearly out of white sugar and I have no oranges.  So with the thought that brown sugar generally makes anything better, and tangerines are pretty close to oranges, I subbed with abandon.  Don't judge me.  I'm snowed in.  Applaud my pioneer spirit!

making streusel

Once I had all the fussy bits done, it was quick to mix together. 

mixing batter

And wonder of wonders, it actually baked in 30 minutes' time:

All in all, I think it took me about two hours to do.

The cake is...interesting.  I had a warm piece and it was nice and moist and the streusel was perfectly crunchy.  Despite containing a full cup of sugar and a stick and a half of butter, it's not super sweet or greasy.  There are a lot of flavors, though, and though I am no expert they did seem to be doing battle for supremacy:  the tangerine, the coffee, the brown sugar, the cardamom.  (That's the order in which they seemed to be winning.)  I wonder if it will be different when cold;  I wonder if it would have been different with more innocuous white sugar or orange zest.  I think I like it, but I'm gonna have to think about whether it's a repeater...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for baking with me! What a fun thing to do on a snow day. Your cake looks lovely! I think the flavors mature with time, so try a piece tomorrow and see what you think.


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