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New York-style crumb cake

Posted Jan 29 2011 4:26pm

I know you might be tempted to spend your weekend curled up on the couch like this guy:


But I feel incredibly compelled to tell you to make this recipe IMMEDIATELY: New York-Style Crumb Cake . Like bacon, egg and cheese on a poppy seed-covered roll, this crumb cake is a specialty of NYC-area delis and just as wonderful as its breakfast comrade. The crumbs are much more dense and cake-like than the traditional coffee cake topping, and the almost 50:50 crumb-to-cake ratio puts it in a universe of its own.

So far, crumb cake has been my only true pregnancy craving — I don’t count my increased power of food suggestion when I see something delicious on TV or on a blog since the cravings are always fleeting and never of the getting-Matt-out-of-bed-at-3am variety — and I am happy to say that these cupcake/muffins hit the spot perfectly and taste just like the crumb cake from my favorite hometown deli. Even better: they don’t require changing out of pajamas or taking a 45-minute train ride from my apartment to enjoy, a huge factor considering NYC currently looks like this:



This is one of the wonderful slush puddles you have to wade through if you need to cross the street:


Anyway, back to baking! I was honestly expecting this recipe to be a bit more complicated, but it came together quickly (25-30 minutes of prep, 20 minutes of baking) and easily. Step one was preparing the crumb topping:


While the crumb topping sets up, I got the cake batter ready. After the butter is added to the dry ingredients, the recipe says the mix should have a “uniform sandy texture”, which to my eyes looked something like this:


Finally, it was time to crumble the crumb topping and assemble. Here’s where I went a little bit wrong, I think — after I crumbled up the topping,


I sort of threw the pieces onto the cake batter (in a slightly impatient rush to bake, and then consume, the muffins :) ), instead of spreading the crumbs onto the cupcakes evenly and carefully from the outside in, per the recipe. Going in they looked beyond drool-worthy:


But they came out looking like this, with sunken crumb bits filling the inside of the cupcakes:



Regardless, they tasted fabulous, although I couldn’t engage in my favorite pastime of removing the crumb layer from the cake and savoring it separately :) My only tweak to the test kitchen recipe would be to let it cool even longer — at least 35-40 minutes — before enjoying; cupcake #2 was far superior to cupcake #1, which I ate approximately 21 minutes after removal from the oven (if you’re making cupcakes instead of cake, bake them at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, then let cool for at least 20 minutes).

As promised a few days ago, here’s the most recent bump picture, taken at 25ish weeks:


In comparison, me at 20-ish weeks:


I don’t wear super form-fitting clothes these days — let alone at all, really — so it might be a little harder to see, but I think I’ve got a much more discernible bump these days. I even had a guy offer to carry my bags home from the subway the other day, but that might have had less to do with looking visibly pregnant than looking visibly exhausted! What can I say, when 44oz of laundry detergent is 2 for $9, I have to stock up! :)

What are your favorite local foods from your hometown? Have you ever tried to make them yourself? Can you get your hometown favorites anywhere else outside the area?

A friend of mine moved to California from New York a few years ago, and shared the unfortunate news that you can’t get a good deli breakfast sandwich anywhere near his new place! :( I don’t know if I could handle that…

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