Monday, April 28, 2014

"Entenmann's Big Book of Baking" - Cream Cheese Swirl Coffee Cake

Date I made this recipe:  April 20, 2014 (Easter Sunday)

Entenmann's Big Book of Baking by Orograin Bakeries Products, Inc. (Entemann's is a registered trademark of this company) and Kathleen Robbins, Master Baker
Published by:  Parragon Books, Ltd.
ISBN:  978-1-4454-4530-4
Recipe:  Cream Cheese Swirl Coffee Cake – p. 116

Folks, "giddy" is the word I use to describe the feeling I had when I saw Entemann's Big Book of Baking.  Giddy.  And "nostalgic."  Because be still my heart—there, in living blue and white color, was a compilation of Entenmann's-inspired recipes, all for the home cook. There are no words...

Now I don't know about the Midwest, but out on the east coast where Entenmann's originated, these blue and white boxes with the clear plastic strip in the middle (so you could see the baked goods) were a staple in many households.   Whenever we went to visit my New Jersey grandma who lived with my aunt and uncle, that box (or even better – boxes) was on the counter.  So exiting!   I always felt like I was on the TV show, Let's Make a Deal, where host Monty Hall would ask you to select "what's inside the box," or "what's behind the curtain."  For me, peeking into the top of the box to discover what was inside was a thrill although truth be told, you could always distinguish between the donut box (chocolate donuts – LOVE!) and a coffee cake.  Ah yes, but what kind of coffee cake?  That was a mystery to be solved! (Favorite:  Cheese Filled Crumb Coffee Cake.)

For the longest time, I never saw Entenmann's outside of the east coast but then one day I was in, of all places, my neighborhood Rainbow (your average grocery store to fit all income levels) and right there before my very eyes I saw several Entenmann's boxes.  Several.  Again – giddy!  I bought several boxes.  And every once in a while, when the mood is right, I buy some more boxes.  I mean folks, how could you not?  And okay sure, now they tend to be a little bit more laden with preservatives than the days of old but it's the blue and white box and it's Entenmann's so....

You should know that the inspiration to haul out this cookbook came from none other than Bon Appetit magazine. The magazine recently posted online an article – "The Richest, Most Powerful Families in the Food Business" and wouldn't you know, there was the Entenmann family bio (accompanied by a photo of their chocolate donuts).  Here's what BA said:  "In 1898 German-born William Entenmann opened a bakery in Long Island, focusing on home delivery. When William died in 1951, William Jr., his wife, Martha, and their two sons took the reins and made the leap to supplying supermarkets, building the iconic Long Island baking plant in 1961 to keep up with demand." 

Sadly, the company was sold in 2002 to – get this – Bimbo Bakeries USA.  Bimbo Bakeries?  Well there's a name, am I right?  Bimbo Bakeries also owns Sara Lee, another popular item at my aunt and uncle's house and Thomas' English Muffins.  And here's an interesting factoid for you:  one of my best friends, Susan, is from Totowa, New Jersey and just down the street from her old childhood home was a Thomas' English Muffin factory.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of this factory (not to mention the yummy smell of English muffins baking!). It's odd how everything in this world connects.

Now, had I been more organized on Easter morning (read: not been so lazy), I would have made this for breakfast instead of for dinner. But really—do we care?  No, we do not!  This coffee cake is pretty simple and actually, I made it at the same time as the ham since they shared an oven temperature – multi-tasking/baking is key.  The only thing I did not do was bake this in a Bundt pan (as the recipe called for) because for some inexplicable reason, my Bundt pan is missing.  And I am quite upset about this.  I told my husband "I wouldn't do something so stupid as to throw it out, would I?"  (No, of course not...well, I hope not).  We suspect it's in the house somewhere although the "where" part is still eluding us. I am happy to report though, that we discovered where we stored not one but two fondue pots!

But all is not lost because according to the internet, you can make this coffee cake in a tube pan and I have a tube pan.  Couldn't find the Bundt pan for love nor money but my tube pan?  Oh yeah!

The recipe says to bake for 40-45 minutes.  I went with 45 minutes and it was perfect, absolutely perfect.  The recipe also says to serve it warm (we did) but it is also mighty tasty cold.  And although I didn't have the requisite blue and white box (the cookbook pages are in blue and white, natch), it didn't matter because it was Entenmann's – no further words required.

Cream Cheese Swirl Coffee Cake – serves 9-12
Cream Cheese Mix
1 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
Cake Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 cup sugar ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease and flour a 9 cup Bundt pan (or substitute a tube pan)
To make the cream cheese mix:  in a small bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth; set aside.

To make the cake batter, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In a large mixer bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla mixing well.  Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream.  Mix well.

Pour half the batter into the pan.  Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the batter within ½ inch of pan edge.  Spoon the remaining batter over the filling, spreading to the pan edge.

To make the topping combine the chopped walnuts, sugar, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Sprinkle over the batter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Serve warm.

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