Cake. Crumb Cake {an international cake of mystery}

The question everyone is asking is what is a crumb cake? Well, it's a cake with crumbs on top. Mystery solved. Well, I suppose not 100% solved as the next question is - is it any good? and the answer is yes. Yes, it is an amazing cake!

I was craving cinnamon the other day. Yup, not really sure where it came from, but I thought I wonder what that means if I'm craving cinnamon and according to the internet it means that I am going to die.

I know an over done joke, but it did say that craving cinnamon might be a sign that my body needs help regulating insulin and then further said it might be a sign of bigger health problems like diabetes and/or liver or kidney failure. Nothing to really joke about, but kind of feel this was a one off thing. I suppose if I start craving cinnamon on a regular basis I will pay a bit of attention.

It's not one of those things you can just eat. Cinnamon is best in baked in cake or cookies. It's a fact. Not that it's good if my body is trying to regulate insulin..... anyway!

Now, this crumb cake isn't the most cinnamon-y baked good out there, but it served it's purpose and fulfilled my craving of cinnamon. Now I have practically a whole cake left... I am sure I can find people to help me eat it!

As you aren't close by to have a slice here is how you can make it at home! Thanks to the boys at Outsider Tart... I've made very little changes to their recipe, but I did things the way I know how to do them.

Crumb Cake

225g unsalted butter, melted
380g plain flour
225g dark brown sugar
115g light brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a free standing mixer and using the paddle attachment beat until they form crumbs of all sizes. Don't over beat; it makes the crumbs tough. Set aside.

525g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter, softened
340g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
340g natural yogurt

Heat the oven to 180C and line a tray bake tin (30x23cm) with grease proof or baking paper. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, and salt. Leave to the side while you beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. I tend to beat the eggs in with a whisk as it gives it a less chance of separating the batter. Fold in the vanilla. Pour in a third of the flour and beat until just combined, follow with half the yogurt again beat until just combined. Follow with flour, yogurt, and last the rest of the flour. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread flat and fill in the corners before sprinkling half the crumb topping on top and gently press down into the batter before sprinkling the rest on top.
Bake for 45-60 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Towards the last few minutes place foil over the top to stop the crumbs from getting too dark and over cooked.
Use a skewer to test if the cake is done.
Cool in the tin before eating.

last notes: As mentioned this recipe was adapted from Baked in America by the David's at Outsider Tart! But in no way sponsored by them please see my contact/policy tab above! I got to meet them once I wrote about it here and if you ever want to know what it's like at their baker then check out this post! My friend made this cake too and shared it here!

Nostalgic Delights by William Curley {a book review}

I am an American, as it says in my blog tag line, so one could argue that some of these treats aren't necessarily nostalgic to me, but that's not so. I believe that I have lived here long enough now to have a history with some of the sweet treats in this book.

There was this time, in the early days of me living here, that I was craving chocolate. Just a solid bar. I didn't want any nuts or nougat or cereal or raisins or anything just one solid bar of chocolate. I was recommended a Yorkie, as they are the solidest solid bar of chocolate out there. I went to the till to pay and the guy says to me "Yorkies aren't for birds." I stared at him and asked why anyone would feed chocolate to a bird?

Yeah in this country birds are women. Oh and it was a marketing thing and it said right on the wrapper that they weren't for birds. Anyway, Mr Curley knows his stuff. I have his Patisserie book and it's amazing and this book is amazing.

It's broken down into 7 sections starting with Chocolate Confectionery followed by Bakery Favourites, Patisserie Modern Classics, Ice Cream & Gateau, Afternoon Treats, Frivolities, and basic recipes that you will need for the recipes in the rest of the chapters.

The instructions for each recipe is very precise and clear. It's like the most interesting text book I have ever read in my life. It's also beautifully photographed. There are some recipes that show you in pictures what each step should look like and with a book like this it is great to have that information.

There are so many recipes I'd like to try out! There isn't one for a Yorkie specifically, but there are recipes for other great chocolate bars! Here is a condensed list of recipes I'd like to try!!

Okay before I list the recipes I want to try there is a recipe for Hazelnut Rochers. It's not included in my list because I don't like them, but I know a lot of people do and if you ever wanted to make your own there is a recipe in this book! Just so you know! Now back to the list.

Alpine Chocolates (inspired by Toblerone)
Cartwheel (Wagonwheel)
Walnut Whip
Matcha & Yuzu Teacakes
Cinder Toffee
Caramel Bar
Chocolate Mint Bar
Fudge Bar
Peanut Nougat Bar (Snickers/Marathon)
Curly Wurly
Chocolate Cherry Bakewells
Jam Tarts
Custard Tart
Eccles Cakes
Bee Sting
Fudge Doughnuts
Tropical Snowball (based off of a patisserie marshmallow confection in Scotland)
Black Forest Gateau
Moka (gateau)
Jaffa Cake Tarts
Bounty Ice Cream Bar
Pecan & Banana Cake
Empire Biscuits
Viennese Whirls
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Hob Nobs
Pate De Fruits (Fruit Pastilles)
Whiskey Tablet

That was a lot longer then anticipated! Not sure when I will find the time to make all those things, will need to shorten the list.....

There is so much in here for keen bakers and those who like to experiment in the kitchen! If you have either of those people in your life this book would make an amazing gift!!

last notes: I was given a copy of Nostalgic Delights: Classic Confections & Timeless Treats by William Curly to review by the publisher, jacqui small. Retails at £25.99 and available now from your local book retailers or online! All opinions are my own, I was not given any other compensation nor was I asked to give a positive review, please see my contact/policy page for more information.

Want a closer look inside? Here is a short video I made as I looked through the book....


Adventures in the Kitchen - with Panasonic!

If you had invited me over for a meal and told me that you were going to cook all of it in a microwave I would have assumed you were cooking me beans on toast.

And if you only owned a basic microwave I am sure that is exactly what I would have gotten, but there are so many different kinds of microwaves these days! Maybe they always existed and I have just been enlightened by the existence of the variety of microwaves out there? It now is clear of why they are sometimes called microwave ovens.

Either way I went for lunch at the Panasonic Ideas Kitchen and I was served a meal prepped by us and cooked in microwaves.

We had roast beef, focaccia, chopped salad, lemon drizzle cake, dulce de leche brownies and freshly juiced juice all cooked in microwaves except the juice and salad of course.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good the beef turned out. To be completely honest I was extremely skeptical of the beef. I needn't have been because it was perfectly cooked and tasted great! The bread dough was proved in a bread machine and then rolled out and proved a second time in a microwave oven at a low heat before being baked in the same microwave oven.

Salad was chopped using a food processor and had a gorgeous basic dressing of olive oil, mustard, and seasoning. The juice was very experimentally made and had a bit too much ginger. We whipped up the lemon drizzle cake and chocolate brownies and both were cooked in the microwave ovens as we had lunch.

Especially in England where space is crucial I wouldn't mind having a multi functioning microwave ovens. It would be nice for no thinking cooking after a busy day and it would especially be useful when making a big meal like Christmas dinner.

Learn more about the products here!
Microwave Oven: NN-DS596B
Food Processor: MK-F800SXE
Slow Juicer: MJ-L500
Hair Dryer: EH-NA65
Hair Straightener: EH-HS95

I listed two none foodie gadgets because before we went into the kitchen I had my hair washed and blow dried in the salon across the hall .... I know right? This place is amazing. Think I might just move in! My hair always looks great when someone else straightens it. I have sort of given up on straightening my hair, but now I remember how great it looks!

And a last last note before I go, we were given goodie bags and mine contained my very own slow juicer!! So, stay tuned for more on that as I get my juice on!

*I was invited out for the day, all opinions are my own!