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Gooey Butter Cake + Miscellaneous

I live closer to St. Louis than most of you, but I had never heard of a St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake until I came across an article in the New York Times [1] a few month ago. I was intrigued. But not intrigued enough to do anything about it until I saw that Deb [2] loved it. That night I made the cake myself and it knocked my socks off. It is one of the best things I have made in quite some time. For the record, Bryan didn’t agree and claimed it tasted like an Entenmann’s Coffee Cake you would get at the grocery store. I see what he means, but those things are good!

There are some problems with the recipe: The original recipe has you beat the dough in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment for 7-10 minutes and claims that it will pull away from the sides of the bowl into a smooth cohesive mass. That never happened for me and I can’t imagine it ever would— but who knows. I stopped the machine after 10 minutes and the dough seemed right to me so I proceeded. The recipe then says you should let the dough rise for 2 1/2-3 hours, until doubled in size. After 2 hours my dough had not risen or puffed in the slightest. I put it on top of my radiator and after another 2 hours it had finally started to rise a bit. It was definitely not doubled. Unless you live in the tropics you want to plan on between 3-5 hours for this to work, which is an annoying amount of time to spend waiting for dough to rise— I know.  Some of you more adventurous bakers might want to experiment with rapid rise yeast, I think I will try that myself next time.

But don’t let any of these negatives dissuade you from trying this— it is SO good. Somehow the topping turns into this amazing layer of…goo?…that tastes like the filling for a cheese danish. This sweet topping is tempered by the yeasty cake layer. Perfection! Especially when it is still warm. You can go to the Smitten Kitchen [2] and New York Times [1] articles for the recipe.

I’ve been writing over at ReadyMade [3], so don’t forget to look for me there. I have already written about my favorite streusel recipe [4] (see photo below), the perfect apron [5] and given some party planning suggestions [6]. It is a great team of bloggers and lots of good information each day.

Twitter is fun! For those of you resisting because you think it is stupid, you might be right but it is also fun and I get a lot of good information from the folks I follow. You don’t need to join to read my tweets [7] (mostly about food) which come a lot more often than posts seem to these days. ; ) I hope everyone is getting a first glimpse of Spring this week and looking forward to sunny days and farmers markets in the not-too-distant future.