Sunday, September 28, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Crumb Cake / Homemade Cake Flour Substitute

Ahhh….  Entenmann’s!
Anyone who grew up in New York knows about Entenmann’s.
Entenmann’s has been a part of New York's life for over 100 years.

They perfected their marketing when they invented the "see-through" cake box.
We saw it while Ma was picking up her basics.
After enough begging, Ma surrendered and bought a cake.
We enjoyed it.

Even Ma enjoyed it.
But not enough to make a habit of buying a store bought cake every week.

If you’ve never had an Entenmann’s cake, despair not.
Ma asked around and got a recipe from another mom, who also wasn’t going to admit defeat by buying a store bought cake every week.
Moms, in those days, had their pride, and their ways.


I just heard that Entenmann’s has stopped baking in Bay Shore.
What next?  Will the Pope leave Rome?

Hints:

If you don’t have cake flour, DO NOT substitute regular flour.
It just won’t work.
You can make a substitute, but it’s going to take a little effort…

Homemade Cake Flour Substitute

Measure out 
10 Cups all-purpose flour  
Remove 1 1/3 Cup flour and put it back in your canister. 
Replace the removed flour with 1 1/3 Cup cornstarch.
Sift flour 5 times.  Yes… 5 times.  
Sifting will help combine the mixture and lighten and aerate the flour.
Use the amount called for in the recipe and store the rest.


If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt.

This recipe was developed when no one had ever heard of cholesterol.
If you’d like to make it a bit healthier, substitute for the cup of butter in the topping:
1/2 Cup margarine 
3 ounces oil

About the 2 eggs and 2 yolks… you can substitute 3 large eggs.
Every little bit helps.


                        Crumb Cake

For the Crumb Topping
In a small bowl mix together 
2/3 Cup sugar
2/3 Cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Cup unsalted butter, melted and still warm
Add
3 1/2 Cups cake flour 
Stir until the mixture is a solid dough.
Set aside to cool.


For the Cake
Place the oven rack in the upper-middle position.
Preheat oven to 325º
Grease 2 8-inch square baking pans

In a large mixer bowl place
2 1/2 Cups cake flour
1 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat at low speed just to combine.
Add one piece at a time
3/4 Cup unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, softened 
Beat until the mixture looks like crumbs.
There should not be any butter chunks visible.

Add
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 Cup buttermilk
Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Spread the cake batter in the prepared pans.
Using a rubber spatula, spread the batter into an even layer. 

Break apart the crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread the pieces in an even layer over the batter.
Do not push the crumbs into the batter.
Bake for 35 - 40 minutes.
The crumbs should be a golden brown.
A toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
Place the pans on a wire rack.
Let the cake cool at least 30 minutes.

Just before serving dust with 
confectioners' sugar 

Cooled leftovers can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
In our family - there were 5 of us - it didn’t last that long!

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