Wednesday, 27 September 2017
I didn't make it to the east coast on this latest trip to the US, but I transported myself there in a California kitchen by making Christina Tosi's famous compost cookies. Tosi is chef and owner of Milk Bar, Momofuku's bakery offshoot in New York City (and now scattered all over the country... and Canada). Her creations include crack pie - which is as advertised - and these similarly addictive cookies.
Potato chips, butterscotch, pretzels, graham crackers, oats, ground coffee... more is more here - sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy... These have it all. The name is deceptive, implying something just thrown together without much thought but there's a science to these, a precision that speaks to the process Tosi goes through to create. She's an alchemist, engineering quite possibly the perfect cookie. They don't look like much but believe me, they're memorable, and appeal to adults and kids alike. They're especially fun to make with kids as they get to crush up potato chips and pretzels, and sample all the sweet stuff along the way - shout out to Linus, my able apprentice, and his mum for the beautiful photos.
Thursday, 21 September 2017
Coffee cake is quintessentially American. It does not contain coffee, but is made to compliment it. Specifically, the black drip coffee that's the life blood of every kitchen and diner across the country. It's a simple cake, a tray bake really - a buttery sponge, tangy with sour cream, topped with sugary, crunchy streusel strewn with nuts.
Its simplicity is perfection. And oh, is it moreish. As addictive as watching the sun set over the ocean. So good.
Sour cream coffee cake
Adapted from a recipe in The New York Times
This keeps well, due to the sour cream, which stops the cake from drying out.
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking (bicarb) soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
⅓ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
Make the topping: Combine sugar, cinnamon, flour and nuts in a small bowl and mix well.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in centre of cake comes out clean. Cool, cut into pieces and serve.