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August 15, 2012

Writer's Repast: Blueberry Streusel Cake (call it Crumble Cake, if you prefer)

Blueberry Streusel Cake

Heaven knows I'm no photographer. That's one of the main reasons I'll never start a food blog. That and the fact that I'm far too lazy and undisciplined.

But I do like to bake.


On Monday morning I was rostered on at my kids' playgroup to bring morning tea for the parents - and I had a hankering for streusel. I grew up with streusel-topped cakes, courtesy of my mother's European heritage. There was one particular streusel cake known to our family as German Coffee Cake, which evidently one was intended to enjoy while drinking said beverage. As a child I was very confused by the name, as I knew the cake didn't have coffee in it. But I did love it when I was lucky enough to get one of those slices where a huge lump of buttery streusel had sunk into the cake and made a gooey and delicious sweet spot.

Anyway, this sort of crumbly, sugary topping is something I'm very familiar with, and we must have made that cake dozens of times while I was growing up. It was our standard cake to take to friends' houses when we went visiting. But it's only just occurred to me that it doesn't get done much by Australian cooks, with the exception perhaps of crumble toppings for fruit. And I haven't exactly been doing my bit to spread the streusel love. When you grow up with something, you tend to take it for granted, and I'm ashamed to say I don't even have a copy of Mum's German Coffee Cake recipe handy. So rather than, um, pick up the phone, I asked Google, and was directed to this lovely recipe for Apple Streusel Teacake by a Tasmanian food blogger.

I basically followed her recipe faithfully, with a couple of small changes; I have a freezer full of frozen blueberries, courtesy of a lovely blueberry farmer we know who stocks us up each summer. So I substituted a generous sprinkling of blueberries for the apple slices. And I used rapadura sugar instead of raw sugar in the topping, as well as tossing the cinnamon through the streusel before spreading it on the cake.

You'll see the resulting cake above. And it was lucky I took the picture when I did, because there wasn't much left to take home after playgroup was finished.

Miss Five loved the slice I gave her for afternoon tea, and I realised it's probably the first time she's ever tasted a cake with a streusel topping. So I really will have to get Mum's recipe and start making our German Coffee Cake for her. Then she can go mining the slices for sugary streusel lumps and form delicious childhood memories of her own.

What foods bring back memories of the past for you? Have you tried to keep your family's culinary traditions going, so they can be passed on to the next generation?

5 comments:

Suze said...

Adina, this was so lovely. It makes me hungry -- for obvious reasons -- on a very visceral level, but it also moves the deeper spaces. It's written in such a straightforward manner but it penetrates to this spot which says, 'Huh. I wish this woman lived closer by. I'll bet there's a lot I could learn from her.'

Adina West said...

Promise I'll cook my mum's cake for you if we ever meet. And I'll even give you the recipe.

Yes, we do live an awfully long way apart, Suze, so you're up very early I imagine...while I'm up late. I'm imagining you catching up on computer time while the house is quiet...

Carol Riggs said...

That looks scrumptious? When's dessert time? LOL Yes, smells and tastes can definitely bring back memories. Pumpkin pie always reminds me of my grandma at Thanksgiving. :)

beck said...

Hey Addie, I didn't realise you had failed to grab the recipe for our childhood staple - I'll email it to you :)

The blueberry version also sounds great - and since I too have about 5 lb of frozen blueberries that might be next on the list.....

Adina West said...

No pressure Beck, but I'm still waiting for you to email me that recipe!

German Coffee Cake. Mmmmmm.....

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