Monday, 11 January 2010

Chocolate Streusel Cake



Each week, as I type up my post, I eat cake and drink tea and ponder.  Idyllic, no?  And why, yes, I am a very skilled multi-tasker - thanks for noticing.  Sometimes it takes me one slice, sometimes two.  Today I am on my second Chocolate Streusel cupcake and still only on the first paragraph.  Does this mean that this cake is unbelievable?  Hmm, I'm not sure about that.  What I am sure about is the following.
  1. I miss my camera so much.
  2. I wish I put more streusel in my chocolate streusel cupcakes.
  3. I should have made 18 perfectly sized cupcakes rather than 12 overflowing cupcakes.
  4. I wish I didn't also have a banana refrigerator cake sitting on the bench, in direct competition to these cupcakes.
  5. I wish I didn't like cake quite so much and exercise quite so little. 
  6. And about fifty other things I am not sure of.
I got the quote back to fix my camera lens - it will cost £9 more to buy a brand new one.  So, looks like I will be getting a brand new lens, which will hopefully arrive this week.  I am sure it would be much better for the British economy to repair it but somehow a bright shiny new one direct from Honkers sounds so much more appealing.  Something about that 12 month warranty is sooo worth the extra £9! 

This weeks recipe called for a six cup bundt + two cupcakes.  Not having a six cup bundt to hand, I took the option of increasing two cupcakes to twelve cupcakes.  I am not sure if English cupcakes are smaller than US cupcakes, but this mix definitely could have made at least 16 cupcakes and perhaps even 18.  As I type that, I marvel at my own dogged adherence to the recipe.  Actually, maybe it was less dogged adherence and more laziness about getting out the other cupcake pan...  As you can see these cupcakes overflowed alot, yet they finished off quite flat.  The crumb was fine - not spectacular, but pretty good, and as Mendy's little ones said, they smile at you!  Who can resist a smiling cake?




Based on Rose's post about her success great mistake in using unbleached flour in a bundt pan, I decided to use unbleached flour in my cupcakes.  Am I mad?  A bundt pan is clearly not a cupcake liner.  But whilst reading Rose's post, one of the few remaining synapses in my brain fired, and I recalled making about 120 cupcakes from Rose's TCB white velvet buttercake recipe with unbleached flour and they were soft and gorgeous and perfect.  So, I reasoned, small pan size + ambivalence to bleachedness of flour = success. 

The method of this recipe is just like my maternal grandmother taught me - cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs, add dry and wet in batches, spoon into pan and bake, cool and place in a cake tin right at the back of the cupboard, far from the greedy boys (isn't that a metaphor for life!!).  My paternal grandmother taught me to open a packet and put them on a nice plate!

I was a bit too timid with my streusel filling.  A teaspoon *seemed* like such a lot in those teeny tiny cupcakes, so I had a fair bit left over, which unlike other wise HCB's, I threw in the bin.  Those cupcakes sure could do with a bit more streusel filling.  When and if you come to make them, make sure you use all of that teaspoon of filling - don't be shy!  I really liked the contrast of the not too sweet chocolate cinnamony whisper against the soft vanilla crumb.  It elevated this from just plain cake, but not into the same league as the Whipped Cream Cake. 

Unfairly, these cupcakes had to compete with Rose's Banana Refrigerator Cake.  I know!  Two cakes in one week and only one cake eating person in the house.  See point five above.  The banana cake outshines the chocolate streusel cupcakes in the taste stakes, and given that both were equally easy to make, the banana cake wins.  I don't plan on having a Rose HCB cake off every week, it was just that I didn't want to throw the black bananas to the bin.  Let me assure you, it will be no hardship to make this banana cake again when it comes up on rotation or the next time I have black bananas...

Next week, Torta de las Tres Leches for Hanaa's husband.  I am trying to keep an open mind about a cake soaked in nearly five cups of full cream and skim milk, cream and condensed milk.  I just keep thinking of those soggy tomato sandwiches from my school lunch box.   Gag.  I am sure it will be grand, maybe not so much for the lactose intolerant!

8 comments:

  1. I also made 12 cupcakes and thought that I should have made a few more rather than having the tops run over. haha - I can also relate to your point #5.

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  2. You make a very good point #5! Plus this had me howling..."one of the few remaining synapses in my brain fired"! They look yummy and isn't it a bit of necessity to have emergency cake rations on hand with all the snow the news says the UK is being blanketed with? Surely it's the law of emergency preparedness or some such thing.

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  3. Yes, #5 haunts me every weekend when I think about baking yet another cake, ah well. Funny, my cupcakes were full to the brim but didn't run over...I wonder why? Hope you get your camera back in working order soon!

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  4. great cupcakes! it's interesting to see the streusel swirl differently in everyone's cake! :) Your's & Mendy's a smile and Lois is an inverted smile..:)

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  5. Your cupcakes look great. Love the streusel "smile". I'm looking forward to the Tres Leches Cake. My favorite recipe has been the one from america's test kitchen, so I'm curious how Rose's compares.

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  6. Flat-topped cupcakes, just like mine! Yep, I too was thinking I should have made smaller ones...

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  7. Haha... love your writing style. And #5 could have been written by me!!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  8. Love your post! And by the way, overripe bananas freeze wonderfully. Just pop them whole and unpeeled into a bag in the freezer. The insides turn into total goop when defrosted but that's just fine for baking.

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