Monday, August 3, 2020

Anna Sultana’s Crumb Cake / The Perseid Meteor Shower

COVID-19 has made this a summer like no other.
Including here in Manitoba.
Most of our usual festivals and events have been cancelled, and we’re nervous about going out for groceries, let alone having simple get-togethers.

Parents here, as everywhere else, are worried about what to do this September.
Should children go to school, or stay home and learn on-line?
Modern technology is amazing, but it does lack that human touch.

Some events and things can be handled on-line, but others can't.
We still have to eat something solid, something that we can touch.
Virtual reality will not work for the dining room table.
Meal times and snack times demand a bit of cooking.

The take out places have been saying that NOBODY touches the food they sell.
All well and good.
I do support local businesses, but after a while one can actually get tired of take out.
Since cheesecake usually helps keep me calm, last month I posted the recipe for Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake.
It’s an old favourite, and I do love cheesecake, but just like take out, one can get tired of eating cheesecake. Really.

When I was growing up Entenmann’s Crumb Cake was a popular dessert.
Ma had a recipe for it.
Warning: the recipe requires cake flour.
If you have cake flour on your shelf, all is well and good.
If you don't have it, you can make a cake flour substitute.

If you don’t have time to make a cake flour substitute and your store doesn’t have bags of cake flour on its shelf (yes, supplies - even of staples - have been a bit erratic since the virus came), then this recipe is for you.
Time was a precious commodity in Ma's home so she often used this recipe.
It calls for regular flour and will give you a delicious crumb cake.

About the sky this month...
The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is returning, with the peak of the shower happening between August 11 to 13.
The bright meteors are a favourite summer sight, and the virus can’t stop them.

Why not bake a crumb cake and enjoy the night skies with a slice? 
The kiddies can have a glass or two of lemonade.
Piña Coladas or Strawberry Daiquiris (with or without the rum) would be appreciated by the adults.

Stay safe and well, everyone!


It your family really likes crumb toppings, the crumb recipe can be doubled.
it won't affect baking time.

If you have salted butter, don't add the 1/8 teaspoon salt.

This cake is denser than the recipe using cake flour. 
A smaller slice will be filling.

                        Crumb Cake

For the Crumb Topping
In a small bowl mix together 
1/3 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup dark brown sugar 
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1 3/4 Cups 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 350º F
Grease and flour 2 8-inch square baking pans

In a large mixer bowl place
1 Cup butter, softened
1 3/4 Cups sugar
4 large eggs 
Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

2 1/2 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
Beat at low speed just to combine.

1/2 Cup milk
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
Beat at low speed just to combine.

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 45 to 50 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 cakes cool at least 30 minutes.

Just before serving dust with
confectioners' sugar