Monday, July 05, 2010
A Tale of Two Blueberry Crumb Cakes
Throughout the summer at the library where I work, we have weekly events hosted by different departments. As the only adult in the music library, I got to take one week on my own. I live in the south, and it is hot and humid here, so that ruled out anything frozen or chocolate. Back in January, I pledged to make more recipes with seasonal ingredients, and blueberries have been in peak season around here. Perusing the cookbooks on my shelf, I found several recipes for blueberry crumb cake, and decided to pit Dorie Greenspan's and Nick Malgieri's recipes against each other.
Nick Malgieri's recipe comes from The Modern Baker. It is a rich cake with a topping of blueberries and crumblies. You can tell I burned the bottom a bit - I had to bake it ten extra minutes to get the tester to come out clean. I think this is partially because the blueberries are layered on top instead of being throughout the cake, creating this sort of moisture density that the batter on top didn't deal with very well. The visuals of Nick's cake are impressive, though, because you can see the berries clearly without it being cut into.
Dorie's recipe, from Baking: From My Home to Yours, had a little bit of cinnamon in the batter as well as the addition of nuts in the crumb mixture. The berries get mixed into the batter, so they are found throughout the cake. I doubled the recipe so I could bring two of the same size to work.
I mixed up a big batch of iced coffee concentrate, because to me a slice of blueberry crumb cake and a glass of iced coffee sounded perfect on a humid southern afternoon. I was hoping for a thunderstorm but it didn't happen until later.
So whose cuisine reigned supreme? Among the library staff and faculty, there wasn't a clear winner, and I saw people taking seconds from both pans. To my taste, Dorie edged Nick out in the end because there was just more flavor going on, and the cake texture was more to my liking.
at 7:21 PM