After I began having issues with some of the stuff that was taking place in the Catholic Church, I became perplexed as what I should do about tithing.
Bible people say you should give a 1/10th of your money back to instatutions that support God....in my case....I'd just cut a check to Vatican City.
I don't want to start your day off getting religous on you, but I will share a secret that liberated the Last American Baker.
One day I just came to terms that I owned nothing.
So over the course of time I started giving my contribution to projects that Nuns worked on, programs for delinquent youth....and of course, birthday cakes.
Now the Church (not just the Catholics) might tell you that my contributions are not reaping me maximum rewards because I am not sticking my shekels directly into the coin slot of the "Jesus Piggy Bank", but who's kidding who?
My Jesus, the Polish Jesus can fend for himself, he isn't short of cash, and he certainly has more than I, but I am still accountable for intent.
I do want to promote joy in this world.
Every morning before heading into the bakery, I stop at the Marathon gas station to pick up 5-Hour Energy Shots, Diet Pepsi and Beef Sticks.
On many days I buy Powerball tickets.
Klecko doesn't have issues with gambling, but he just gets bored with it, so instead of hoarding that magical "Winning Ticket", after the cashier(s) ring me up.....I throw the Powerballs back at them and say.....
"By the Grace of Saint Faustina...you are about to become rich!"
These ladies love me, they actually find it hard to believe that somebody would hand a fortune over to another person.
Let me let you in on a secret....I'm not, I'm simply handing them 5 bucks worth of paper...LOL.
On several occasions they have asked what cut I would take if they...when they win.
Klecko just smiles and says.....
"I lead a contemplitive life style, the riches would destroy my karma, you better hold onto the cash."
I think these types of gestures are what people really yearn for, and if churchs (and I'm sure some do) would display that kind of attention on other creature comforts....their dividends would increase as well.
A couple weeks ago after partaking of this ritual, one of the cashiers wanted to return kindness with kindness.
She explained that she knew that I was a baker, and she didn't want to offend me, but she would like to share some of her coffee cake with me.
Coffee cake which she had purchased at the gas station.
As you can imagine, you get what you pay for, so being that it was of gas station quality....it really was low end, but the gesture was grand, so I made certain to inhale it in front of her, even though I am not crazy about blueberry.
But as the day went on, and after talking to some of my peeps, my baking peeps, I asked them where they bought their coffee cakes, or better yet...when was the last time they made coffee cake?
I thought about blogging about it then, but I couldnt find my stupid formula!
I still haven't found it, but I did discover a really good one in the ADVANCED BREAD AND PASTRY book by Michel Suas (and yes, that is the correct spelling of his name).
The book is splendid, in fact Gilson once asked if I die before her, could she have it?
BUTTER-COLD 11 1/4 OZ
SUGAR 8 OZ
ALMOND MEAL 8 OZ
PASTRY FLOUR 8 OZ
SALT 1/8 OZ
Place these into your Kitchen Aid and mix on medium until it becone crumbly and Pea sized, don't get crazy and overmix this stuff though....EZ does it.
When done, place it in an air tight Tupperware and toss it in your fride untill needed, and FYI....this stuff freezes like the bomb.
COFFEE CAKE BATTER
BUTTER 1# 4 1/8 OZ
CREAM CHEESE 1# 9 1/8 OZ
SUGAR 1# 9 1/8 OZ
EGGS 1# 1 1/2 OZ
VANILLA EXTRACT 7/8 OZ
BREAD FLOUR 2# 12 3/4 OZ
B-POWDER 3/4 OZ
B-SODA 1 OZ
SALT 3/4 OZ
WHOLE MILK 14 OZ
First you'll need to cream your butter, cream cheese and sugar, do this until it becomes light and "airy".
Slowly blend in the eggs and vanilla.
Then toss in the rest of the dry ingredients...but remember!!!!Don't overmix.
Finish off by adding your milk and mixing until smooth.
COFFEE CAKE ASSENBLY FORMULA
BATTER 9# 5 7/8 OZ
RASPERIES 1# 5 OZ
RASPERY JAM 7 OZ
Spray a 9 inch (23 cm) cake pan with some sort of "Pan Release" and then drop 14 oz (400 g) of batter into each pan and flatten it.
Then pipe around an ounce (40 g) of jam onto the batter and then top that with 4 OZ (120 g) of berries over the jam.
Then-then-then top that with and additional pound of batter (450 g) and over that.....7 OZ (200 g) of streusel.
The book says to bake at 335 F for 50 to 55 minutes in a convection oven, but I know alot of you L.A.B. Rats don't have convections so lets......
Well lets just say 350 F and the time should be close to the same, but if you have an oven light, peek at 35 minutes, but open the door around 40-45 minutes and give it a little look-see.