Baked Nov. 22, 2014
Another baking for sister-in-law, this time for her Friday mini-classes for teachers.
A nice simple cakelet, very quick to mix up. This is more the level of effort I need for these mid-week bakings, with apologies to the really lovely but much more time consuming crumb coffee cakes I did first.
The concept is related to gingerbread but without the spices, and with a crumb topping. (Maybe I was in a rut....) However, I didn't get crumbs--my mixture of flour, sugar, oil, and salt went instantly from 'dry flour bits still here' to a blob--see the picture below. I measured out the weight for the crumb topping then tried to crumbled it, but found by the time I'd crumbled my handful the 'crumbs' had remerged. Ina rescue attempt I sprinkled on a tablespoon or so of flour and tried again, but still it was more a paste than anything that would crumble. I should have followed my instincts and added even more flour, because my 'crumbles' sort of melted onto the top of the cakelets in a splotchy pattern. They give a little crunch sometimes, but not really a crumb topping effect at all. I don't know where this went wrong as I'm a pretty meticulous weigher of ingredients.
It turns out that my excessive kitchen inventory has 3 brands of mini-muffin pans, but all have bottom diameters of 1-1/4 inch or so, not Rose's 1-1/2. As a result my cakes are higher and less wide. I made use of a bit of kitchen gadgetry bought a while back to fill the cups-this batter dispenser worked really well for the thin molasses batter.
Four mini-muffin pans almost completely cover my oven rack, leaving no room for circulation except on the sides, and so the cakelets baked another 10 minutes beyond the stated 8-10, possibly also affected by the different cakelet shape. I should have just used 2 racks and/or the convection setting. The cakes didn't seem to have suffered, though.
Taste test comments: the molasses gives an excellent flavor, bringing memories of gingerbread even though there's no ginger involved. I'll be making these again. SIL's teachers wondered a bit at the odd mottled topping, but apparently thought it was a strived-for effect. That's OK, then...