This week's TWD was chosen by Sihan of Befuddlement: blueberry crumb cake! I really, really wanted to make this cake with blueberries but (a) blueberries aren't in season here and weren't on sale and (b) I still have so many bags of cranberries in my freezer it just made sense to use the cranberries. When summer rolls around and blueberries are abundant, someone needs to remind me to make this cake again because I really want to try the blueberry version but I know I'll forget! That's one of the nice things about this cake: Dorie says that just about any berry will work so there are a lot of variations possible.
I had a few "firsts" with this cake. I received a BeaterBlade for my birthday and used it to make this cake. What a great invention - I loved it! It's not that scraping the sides of the bowl is really all that difficult or time consuming but I'm messy and I always seem to end up with batter all over my fingers when I scrape the bowl. The BeaterBlade also feeds my need to multitask - I can walk away from the mixer to do other things (like gather the rest of the ingredients for the recipe - someday I'll learn the importance of mise en place...). The other "first" I experienced with this recipe was grating my own nutmeg! I'd received some fresh nutmeg for Christmas and finally remembered to use it today. Yum, it smelled so delicious and was really fun.
Ok, back to the cake. I ignored Dorie's instructions to put the pan on a baking sheet before sitcking it in the oven. When I checked on the cake I started to question my decision not to use the sheet pan. This cake rose quite a bit! Luckily, it did not spill over into the oven. I had to bake the cake longer than Dorie suggested. The sides were definitely done earlier but the middle was stubborn. I let the cake cool and tried a piece as an afternoon snack today and can definitely say this is a good one! The streusel is crisp in contrast to the tender cake below. I found the cranberries were pretty tart, almost too tart in fact if I didn't get a piece of the sweet streusel in the same bite. I can't wait to try the blueberry version because I know it'll be amazing.
Great pick this week, Sihan - thanks! You can find the recipe on her blog, or better yet, get a copy of Dorie's book so you can try this and other recipes. You can also find out which variations our bakers tried this week by visiting TWD.