Thursday, April 17, 2014
Sitting pretty across from Portland Harbor, Crema Coffee Company at 9 Commercial St .is more than just a scenic place in which to have a cup of Joe.
That’s because this felicitous coffee house has morphed into a virtual full-fledged bakery. On any given day the display cases are filled with wholesome old-fashioned pastries like chocolate cream and banana coconut pies, lemon squares and grasshopper brownies to name a few of the delectable’baked daily.
One time I marveled over a gorgeous layer cake swathed in electric pink frosting. The sign said “White House Cherry Cake.” It had deep yellow layers and was filled and frosted with a maraschino cherry butter cream. It tasted even better than it looked.
Responsible for these great desserts are Sara Patalano and Salli Wasson--two home bakers who’ve graduated professionally to the front line. They work out of a small but well equipped kitchen in the back of the café--the kind of bakers who literally were weaned at granny’s knee watching cakes and pies being whipped up at home.
When I was there recently Sara was preparing two batches of brownies and was getting ready to make her very popular Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake .She kindly gave me the recipe (her mother’s)just in time for the Thanksgiving table .and here it is. I made it at home and the recipe worked perfectly.
Andreozzi Family Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Servings: 8 to 10
3 cups all purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup chopped walnuts
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and lightly flour with the 2 tablespoons flour the sides of a 9-inch Bundt pan, tapping out any excess..
Whisk together the 3 cups flour, baking power and soda in a medium size bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or by hand mix together the eggs and sugar until well blended. Add the oil and pumpkin puree and mix until thoroughly smooth.
In three batches add the flour mixture, mixing until thoroughly blended. Do not over mix. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a rack and unmold onto a cooling rack. When cool, sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar or a chocolate glaze.
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.