I have a love/non-love relationship with Martha Stewart. (My mama never let me say “hate.”) It took me years to add the “love” part of that statement, and even now it’s tentative. I never liked watching her show, and I think it all stems from that. My mother never liked her for her own reasons. As for me, I’m not sure what I specifically don’t like about watching her, but I am beginning to rise above it to enjoy her recipes very much.
Recently, I came into possession of Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. There are so many things in this book that I want to try. I hardly know where to start. I like to mark recipes-to-be-tried with small post-its, but with this book I didn’t even bother. I want to make them all. After gazing at its pages for weeks, I finally present my first offering. And a worthy one it turned out to be.
The cake is extremely moist. And the crumb topping is so, so good. Don’t be frightened by the amount of butter in that topping. Your portion of that will be very small. I used another of my new Penzey’s cinnamons – Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon. This is apparently the strongest cinnamon money can buy. Penzey’s recommends only using 2/3 the amount of cinnamon called for in the recipe. I snubbed that suggestion. It’s quite the strong cinnamon, but it was well suited to this cake. Not too strong at all.
The book describes this cake as “foolproof.” I would pretty much agree. No part of making it was difficult, but there are several steps involved. My only regret was that I used a dark cake pan, so the bottom and sides were a bit more done than I would have preferred. I chose that pan, though, because of its super-straight sides, which seemed perfect for this cake. Besides that, this cake was exceptionally good. So, as of now, Martha and I are on better than normal terms. Maybe we’ll be friends after all.