I think what sold me on this recipe was the name. It sounds so good. Fluffy. Caramel. But the theme of my life last week was “cooking things in the wrong size pan” and consequently I made some delcious things that were not pretty enough for a photograph.
Fluffy Caramel Coffee Cake was from the book The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham, which was a gift from my friend Laura, and I love it. It’s one of the only cook books that I like to read just for kicks. In fact the very first FBF recipe for waffles 11 weeks ago was from the book. I like that Marion says what to do the night before and how to handle the rest of the steps in the morning. Exactly what I was wondering about two weeks ago. I also like that this is a yeast bread which gives it a cool flavor and creates the fluffiness.
Alas – the recipe called for a 10 inch pan, and I made it in an 8 inch pan. This caused some spill over and also too high of a topping to cake ratio that made it way too sweet. This is partially my fault and also the fault of the universe cursing me for making fun of my midwest upbringing. See, I went to a “hot dish party” on Halloween and I made cheesy pototoes, which I thought was gross as a child and now see as “midwest”. I’d link to a recipe, but I didn’t follow one, and when I went to the source (Mom) for info it was too late and my casserole was gross. (Undercooked with no buttery corn flake topping.) I will say that during the party the hostess tried to unmold the jello and was heard to moan, “Oh noooooooooo” from the kitchen. That made me homesick and was straight out of an family holiday party. Ironically, I just read the book Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and there is an amazing chapter making fun of today’s locally sourced, dairy free, wheat free, blahbity blah foodies, and honoring the midwest bakers of peanut butter bars. (I will be making those.)
The problem is, I brought a 9×9 dish to the party and I left with an 8×8. So I thought my pan was a little too small but it was a lot too small. I woke in a cold sweat, worried about the size of my pan and the bread overflowing. I told myself, “Self. Measure the pan. If its 9×9, just go with it. If it’s 8×8, move the whole thing to a 10 inch spring form pan.” Well, it was 8×8 but I could clearly see that trying to move the dough would cause a massive deflation and would not be worth the effort.
Long story short, it was good, but too sweet. Jack said it was the perfect amount of sweetness and that the cake had a sourness to balance it. He was sort of right because of the yeast flavor, and the sour cream in the topping. But I had to eat mine with bacon and black coffee to balance the sweetness. I made a note “too sweet” and I probably won’t make it again.
I’ve already staged my comeback with another coffee cake for next week. I had planned croissants at Laura’s request, but all the birthday baking I have going on got in the way. What else do I need to make? Scones? French toast? Frittata?