Yesterday I baked another recipe from Martha Stewart’s Handbook: the classic crumb cake. Underneath the title of the recipe there is a statement that says, “This foolproof cake is perfect for beginning bakers.” Um, I don’t think so. First, I didn’t have a clue what a pastry blender was until I made the biscuits from this book, so I don’t know how a beginning baker would know what it is or how to use it. I thought this recipe was going to be super simple, but it took me more than 45 minutes to prepare it to put it into the oven and it took 50 minutes to bake. I had planned on making it for breakfast, but breakfast became lunch.
The recipe states that it will need to bake for 40 to 50 minutes, and I purchased a nifty little oven thermometer just to make sure that my oven was heating up to the right temperature. It was. My husband attempted to take the crumb cake out of the oven at 40 minutes, so I could test it with my toothpick. At this point, the crumb topping is basically overflowing and running down the sides of the pan. The top is jiggling when I try to test it. Obviously, it’s not ready, so I set the timer for another 10 minutes. When I test it again, it’s still wobbling in the middle. I baked it in a clear pan and I could tell that the cake on the outside was getting over-baked. I took it out three minutes later.
While my husband pulls down the wire cooling rack, he grabs another pan from the cabinet and says, “I think you baked it in the wrong size pan. This is a 13-by-9-inch pan.” Guess who told me to use the clear pan that I used….come on…I’ll give you one guess….
My husband.The moral of the story: measure your pans if you’re not sure how big they are. We happily ate the outside of the crumb cake and threw out the mushy middle. We had some leftovers for breakfast this morning along with a healthy smoothie made from pineapple, a banana, and coconut milk.