With all of the Christmas cookie and special occasion dessert baking going on at this time of year, I'll have to say that a breakfast-appropriate cake - one that Dorie Greenspan describes as "not too sweet" - was a very welcome Tuesdays With Dorie baking assignment this week. The Cardamom Crumb Cake contains the flavors, cardamom, orange zest, and coffee. I had a hard time imagining how those tastes could possibly combine, so I just had to bake it the way Dorie wrote it to see how it turned out.
- We can thank Jill of Jill's Blog for choosing the crumb cake this week. For the recipe, check out her blog post.
- I made half a recipe in a medium loaf pan, saving a few spoonfuls of batter for a tiny loaf.
- The only variation I made was to add a pinch of salt and a tiny bit of additional sugar to the crumb topping.
This is definitely not a run-of-the-mill crumb cake. Dorie says it's "exotic" and I couldn't agree with her more. It took me three bites to decide what I thought about the cake, then I loved it! The individual flavors combined in a mysterious yet appealing way and it had a pleasing crunch from the walnuts and the browned edges.
Here are reactions from family members:
My daughter JDE: "I'd eat it again. The salt in the topping is compelling"
My daughter ALE: "I'm tired of regular coffee cakes that are so sweet and not nuanced. This is definitely a cool coffee cake, very challenging, with surprises all along the way, and deeper layers of flavor. Ooh, now I taste the coffee."
My husband: "I like it. Please make more."