Baked in America: Cinnamon LoafWednesday, August 17, 2011
There are few things I like more in this world than a good book.
Aside from a good book about good food, that is.
Now, you know how people feel about all things American. Excess, they declare. Decadence, they claim. Well, these aren't bad traits when it comes to baking. And boy, do the Davids from Outsider Tart know about baking. They've just released a new book (above) which makes me giddy in layer-cake anticipation.
I first saw 'the Davids' (authors, bakers) at a real food show in Southwark, London. David was baking a ridiculously huge chocolate layer cake with a turn-table (it was then that I decided I had to have one) in a public display. I had massive cake envy as his cake turned out beautifully, and left feeling completely captivated by his charming narration, fearless cake decorating skills, and well - who can blame me - his unabashed good looks. Rare, in the baking industry.
So when they released a book I was ready to get my oven warmed up and see what was on offer. With recipes like Snickers Brownies, Praline Cheesecake and oh-so-indulgent layer cakes various, I couldn't resist.
I sat down with the book expecting something a bit show-offy and I was completely surprised (and somewhat delighted) by how wrong I was. There aren't that many pictures. The recipes are all exceptionally named, and introduced with a charming little story regarding its origin. If you get stuck, you're invited to improvise or contact one of the authors directly.
After much browsing, I chose to try out the Cinnamon Loaf recipe. Simple, delicious, wholesome.
The recipe is a variation of a pound cake. You mix the dry ingredients, cream the sugar and butter, and then add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream. The secret, I suppose, is in the layering of the loaf.
You start off with a layer of cake batter. Then add the cinnamon sugar mixture. Yes, those are nuts. I improvised.
Then you layer more batter, more cinnamon sugar, and end on a layer of batter. I feel like I'm making a lasagne recipe here.
Once you're done, you cut a zig-zag through the loaf tin to swirl the layers.
And the result is a delicious loaf that is crisp on top, soft on the inside, and swirling with cinnamon sugar. It looks a bit gloopy here because I've cut it straight out of the oven and haven't given it much time to cool down before devouring the deliciousness. I must say, though, that when you are able to leave it to cool sufficiently, the cinnamon sugar mixture crystallises beautifully to create a crisp layer where it oozed out of the top, and when it's in the cake mix, you'll find, as described in the book, 'a moist chewy blob your tongue will thank you for.'
Yum. We'll definitely be seeing more of the recipes from Baked in America at Bakercourt!