Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Caution! The Perils of Baking Post-Partum...

For several days, Ryan and I had been lamenting the lack of dessert.  We'd eaten all available ice cream, blueberries and even granola cereal.  Things were getting dire.  Armed with an extremely cooperative baby and a thorough inventory of my nearly empty cupboards I set about to bake a cake.  I knew I had the ingredients for a basic yogurt cake, but I had next to nothing to put into it, nothing to make it more than just a plain yellow moist cake.  Finally, I was inspired!  I would make a bit of a chocolatey streusel to put in the middle.  And off I went.  I mixed up the batter, chopped, pinched and fluffed the streusel and carefully layered it all in my cake pan.  I say carefully, because boy howdy was my batter dense.  Really, sticky and dense.  I hadn't remembered this batter being dense, but I ignored the nagging feeling and popped it into the oven.  As I began to wipe off the counter and returned a recipe book to its home, I realized exactly what was wrong.  I hadn't added the vegetable oil.  I grabbed the cake out of the oven, placed a quick consult call to stellacarolyn and then, with a heavy heart, I mixed together that carefully layered streusel with the oil and undid all my planning and ended up with an entirely different cake than what I'd wanted.  Still tasty mind you, but not at all what I'd intended.  I think it will be far superior if you do as I say and not as I do.  Which is probably easier if you haven't recently had a baby and subsequently lost most of your brain function.


for cake
2/3 C plain greek yogurt
1 C sugar
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 C flour
pinch of salt
1 t baking soda
for streusel
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C chopped walnuts
3/4 C chopped chocolate chips
2 t cocoa powder
2 T butter

Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease a 9" cake pan.

Mix together the greek yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil.  You could do this in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, or do it by hand.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Combine the wet with the dry and stir together well.

Make your streusel.  The butter should be a bit softened when you work.  Add all the ingredients listed under "for streusel" to a small bowl.  Use your fingers to smush it all together so it's in crumbly delicious bits.

Pour half the cake batter in your cake pan.  Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the whole top of the batter.  Use all of it.  Then carefully distribute the other half of the cake batter over top of the streusel in a single layer.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out without any sticky bits on it.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.

In all honesty I have no idea how this would taste.  I'm betting good.  But since I forgot the oil, I scooped all of my carefully layered cake batter back into a bowl, mixed in the oil and then plopped it all unceremoniously back into the cake pan and shoved it into the oven spilling a bit on the way.

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