csb cake december 2013: streusel squares, or, i kept confusing this with strudel, which was a huge disappointment

27 Dec

The day after Christmas I was left alone to my own devices while Swede took his nephews to see The Hobbit 2, Hobbitier Than Before. I was sitting on the couch, binge-watching White Collar Season 4 (More art forgery! More sneaky times!), when I realized I hadn’t made the December cake.

So I did something so very, very bold.

Instead of skipping this month’s confection, I hit pause on the Netflix and got my ass off the couch and made the cake.

December 2013 Cake 1

At which point I realized some things about this cake. In no particular order:

One: It’s streusel, not strudel. And in case you were wondering, there is a difference the size of the Grand Canyon. And I was on the wrong side of it. To say I was disappointed when I finally got it straightened out in my head is an understatement. I blame the confusion on the holiday madness we just weathered. Trust me, I won’t make the same mistake again.

Two: I shouldn’t have bothered making this cake. It would have been time better spent, IMHO, if I had stayed planted on the couch watching Neal Caffrey and Agent Burke fight white collar crime. I don’t mean to sound so cynical, but at best this cake was meh. The streusel topping was rather flavorless and seemed to contain an obscene amount of flour, and the cake itself was kind of bland. It was nice and dense, though, I’ll give the cake that.

Three: The way the directions are written makes me think that the author has WAY too much time on her hands. Six to eight minutes to beat in sugar a tablespoon at a time? Are you fucking kidding me? Listen, lady, I have things to do and television to watch. And there is just absolutely no need to beat in sugar for six to eight minutes, one tablespoon at a time. If you have time for that, bully for you. But this case of sculpture forgery isn’t going to solve itself, sister.

Four: Superfine sugar. This recipe calls for superfine sugar. Normally I get superfinely annoyed when I have to buy special ingredients in such large quantity (the sugar came in a package the size of a quart of milk), but for this one, I happily chucked the container in my cart. You know why? Bartending. It says right there on the container: Great for baked goods and cocktails. I’m happy I can bake, Swede is happy he can make liquory drinks, and I’m happy even more because I get to sample said liquory drinks. Mayhaps while I bake. Fun for everyone!

Five: Next. I’m ready for the next cake. And the next season of White Collar, for that matter.

December 2013 Cake 2

21 Responses to “csb cake december 2013: streusel squares, or, i kept confusing this with strudel, which was a huge disappointment”

  1. Solitary Diner December 28, 2013 at 11:54 AM #

    I’m a big fan of both streusel and strudel, but those squares look horribly bland. Netflix definitely looks like the better option.

    • mollystrz December 29, 2013 at 8:54 AM #

      Right? I’m normally a fan of both, too, when made well. Streusel topping has so much potential. This recipe did not. Blah.

  2. Maranda December 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM #

    Haha! Sorry you didn’t enjoy this cake! Maybe it would go better with a sugary sweet cocktail!

  3. Anne@FromMySweetHeart December 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM #

    Molly….I so enjoy reading your posts! Honestly, it’s like you are in my head most of the time! I felt the same way as you. I’ll admit…I hate coffee cakes to begin with. But this one was just dull. And I agree with you on the instructions in this book. She sure likes to make things way more complicated than they need be! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the cakes will get better going forward! : )

    • mollystrz December 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM #

      See, now your streusel topping at least looked appetizing! Mine…not so much. :D

  4. Anabel December 29, 2013 at 12:17 AM #

    I noticed that creaming the butter and sugar for that period of time is used in all her recipes…I’ve made three recipes so far and they all have the same technique. So I choose a time where I’m not rushed to bake.
    Hopefully next months cake works better for you :)

  5. Hazel December 29, 2013 at 8:00 AM #

    Molly I’m a full time on the go, everything at once, all cylinders blazing momworkerwifebakerblogger so I agree with you 100% that 6-8 minutes on sugar is carazy! But I did like this cake… last months was lame for me so maybe I wanted this cake to be good.. Even though you didn’t like it, it baked up great :) Here’s to the next one! Hazel x

    • mollystrz December 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM #

      Since yours was a pooper last month, and mine was a pooper this month, I think that means that the Baking Fates are gearing up to make next month’s cake spectacular. At least, I hope that’s what they’re plotting…. ;)

  6. EmilyC December 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM #

    Because of you, I got up and bake mine last night! I used half the flour and half almond meal for the topping just because you said the flour was too much and flavorless! Anyways, I like this better without the additional dusting of sugar on top!

    • madangel00 December 29, 2013 at 1:33 PM #

      I read the recipe 3 times before i bake ensure nothing is wrong i got confused at the initial stage too but you did a great job!!

  7. Paloma December 31, 2013 at 10:48 AM #

    You crack me up! Sorry about the confusion and disappointment… Hopefully next one will be more enjoyable for you! Your cake still looks great! :) Happy New Year Molly!

  8. Becca - Cookie Jar Treats January 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM #

    So sorry this cake wasn’t good for you. I thought that it about the blending in the sugar one tablespoon at a time was kind of ridiculous too… but since my parents lied about having measuring cups I ended up having to do that anyways. But really this post was funny! And White Collar = AMAZING!!! I’m watching season 4 on netflix now because I don’t have a TV in my apartment.

  9. Becca - Cookie Jar Treats January 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM #

    So sorry this cake wasn’t good for you. I thought that it about the blending in the sugar one tablespoon at a time was kind of ridiculous too… but since my parents lied about having measuring cups I ended up having to do that anyways. But really this post was funny! And White Collar = AMAZING!!! :) I’m watching season 4 on netflix now because I don’t have a TV in my apartment.

    • mollystrz January 14, 2014 at 9:33 PM #

      Your parents should be raked over the coals for such lies! Who doesn’t have measuring cups for the love? Wait a minute…I could actually see that happening to me. Never mind.

  10. Felice/All That's Left Are The Crumbs January 2, 2014 at 3:08 PM #

    Yep streusel and strudel are not like potayo, potahto ;). Sorry that you didn’t like this cake. I enjoyed it, but I am going to make the changes suggested by some of the other group members – adding almond meal for some of the flour to the topping, and either more lemon or almond essence to the cake the next time I make it.

  11. Melanie Stuff January 6, 2014 at 4:40 PM #

    This made me laugh. I also think her directions are ridiculous. I refuse to buy special ingredients when they seem pointless. I used regular sugar and my cake came out just fine. :)

  12. Monica h January 10, 2014 at 6:04 PM #

    Lol. So right on about all of this. Better off making more cocktails!

  13. Diana Gale January 11, 2014 at 12:13 AM #

    I can understand your feeling of blah-ness. Not everyone likes crumbly toppings on his/her cake. I am not mad about it, but I thought the cake was pretty good. I am sure the next cake will be less blah :)

  14. spinthemeal January 14, 2014 at 11:13 AM #

    Girl, you crack me up! I totally get what you mean about the several minutes of mixing…does it really matter?!?!?!? After baking the third cake from Great Cakes, I now just skim through the recipe, mix as long as it feels right to do so, and move on to the next step.

    • mollystrz January 14, 2014 at 9:34 PM #

      Preach. We will take the mixing times into our own hands, lady! I will mix for as long as I damn well please!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. csb february: lemon velvet squares, or, i made this cake a long time ago and forgot to take notes and now i can’t remember a damn thing | McPolish.com - February 26, 2014

    […] not too sticky—but soft, luxurious, and velvet-like I would say not. It was certainly better than some of the other cakes we’ve baked so far from this book, so maybe that’s a point in its favor? We’ll go with a point in its favor. But next time: More […]

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