I’ve written before about my discovery of Outsider Tart and their delicious American style cakes. After the Independence Day picnic, I was VERY interested in finding their cookbook. And so finally, last week, I folded and bought it.
So what did I think about it? First of all, if you’re a Brit and interested in American style cooking, it does indeed have all the basics of American cookies and brownies, so it will give you a good grounding in the food of my people. But more importantly for me (as I grew up with a lot of those sweets) was the wide selection of loafs and muffins. I’ve mentioned before that I do weekly bakes for Beardy boyfriend’s worksite, and really, I need something that isn’t too sweet. This book has a lot of recipe which fall into this category, which is unusual. Normally, in a book, you’ll only have one or two loaf recipes. This one is really good about not overdosing on too-sugary treats, but providing some perfect accompaniments to a cup of tea (although I should also mention the great whoopie pie selection.)
Just to show you how lovely this cookbook is, here’s one lovely example of a not too sweet cake!
Nutmeg Coffee Cake (adapted from Outsider Tart)
450g light brown sugar
300g plain flour
225g unsalted butter
1 large egg (not pictured)
1 tsp nutmeg (the book says freshly ground and having made the recipe, nutmeg is a really strong flavour – go for the fresh if you can!)
225g sour cream
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Sift in flour and add in brown sugar and butter. Mix it until it has a crumbly texture (think cheesecake base, only with slightly more of a flour-y feel!) Take half of the crumbly mixture and put it in your baking pan as a base for your cake.
Take the other half of the crumbs and combine with the egg, sour cream, bicarbonate of soda, nutmeg. Mix well
Once it’s mixed, sprinkle the mixture over the crumbs in the pan. Heat the oven to 170C and cook the cake.
When I first saw this, my first thought was pure panic. I thought it burned. After tasting it, though, I was reassured. It simply looks dark through the nutmeg colour. Regardless, it had very positive feedback from the work crew, who really enjoyed it.
For this and other delicious recipes, check out the Outsider Tart cookbook, Baked in America!