Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7: National Beer Day and National Coffee Cake Day

National Beer Day

Most people of legal drinking age (whatever that may be in your area) are familiar with beer.  I do enjoy the occasional beer and not too long ago attended the Chilibrew Fest in Cary, NC.  It was quite fun and if you're interested in attending a beer festival near you, be sure to check out for a beer festival near you.

I also recommend watching the movie, How Beer Saved the World.  It's available online and I believe on Netflix.  Craft Beer covers the history of beer and, of course, no post about beer would be complete without a reference to Beer Advocate, one of the best online and print resources about beer.

National Coffee Cake Day

When I think of coffee cake, I think of a white sponge cake with cinnamon-y crumble topping that's a sweet start to the day.  Coffee cake is also a perfect featured dish for a brunch party.  Coffee cake doesn't actually refer to a particular type of cake- rather, it refers to the way the cake is eaten with coffee.  As far as I know, there is no coffee cake recipe that uses coffee as an ingredient, but there may well be.  Coffee cake refers to a whole bunch of cakes - some with fruit, some with cinnamon, some with nuts - but all sweet and typically consumed with coffee.  

Thick, chunky batter
To celebrate National Coffee Cake Day, I chose to make the cake portion of this Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Coffee Cake but for the topping I used the Cinnamon Crumb Topping  and added some of the failed caramel from a couple of days ago.  I also used vanilla soy milk instead of milk.  I baked it for 25 minutes because with a sweet crumble top it's hard to do the toothpick test - the topping will stick to the toothpick.

Fresh out of the oven!
It's a very tasty cake.  At first I thought it wouldn't be enough batter for the 13 by 9 inch pan that it calls for, but it worked out.  The batter was really thick and needed to be spread out using a spatula.  Because such a large pan was used, the cake is somewhat thin.  The crumb topping is really sweet, due to the extra sugar added from the failed caramel. 

If I make this cake again, I think I'll make it without the topping and in a smaller pan so that the cake is a little thicker.

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