Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seinfeld Food: Drake's Coffee Cake Knockoff

Last week, I received a request for more Seinfeld recipes--specifically, the black-and-white cookie and Drake's Coffee Cake. I can't fulfill the first request because that particular cookie made Jerry vomit in the bakery, and I can't bear that burden. But I did find a recipe for Drake's Cake, which should be especially helpful to Southerners, as we don't have easy access to this product. Drake's has been baking for the northeastern corner of our great nation since 1888, serving up Coffee Cake, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, Yodels and (something that would never sell here) Yankee Doodles.

Having never tasted the original Drake's Coffee Cake, I make no guarantees that this recipe compares. All I can do is all I can do. This recipe was posted in 2006 by someone from New York, where she probably could have found the original Drake's Cake in its convenient packaging but wanted to complicate her life by reinventing the wheel.

SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE
Source: The Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten Servings: 8-10

Ina writes, "This is the ultimate breakfast treat. My goal was a homemade version of a Drake's Cake, but better. As if the cake wasn't delicious enough, I decided to drizzle maple icing on top and give it an extra-special flavor. This recipe can also be made into sour cream coffeecake muffins."

FOR THE CAKE:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup cake flour* (not self-rising)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

*If you don't have cake flour, you can substitute 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup cornstarch.

FOR THE STREUSEL:
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

FOR THE GLAZE:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp. real maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

FOR THE CAKE BATTER:
Cream the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

FOR THE STREUSEL:
Place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and spread it oput with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Carefully transfer the cake, streusel- side up, onto a serving plate.

FOR THE GLAZE:
Whisk the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water, if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon. (Leave off the maple glaze to make it more authentic.)