It's mid-afternoon, and what better accompaniment to a floral cup of tea or a deliciously bitter coffee than a warm slab of cake? If a simple cake with a sweet glaze and a touch of coconut sounds good to you, then Louisiana crunch cake should be on your list to try.
A Louisiana crunch cake has a beautiful, golden, spongy crumb that's reminiscent of pound cake. However, instead of a loaf shape, this cake is typically baked in a tube pan and decorated with a thin yet rich glaze, chopped nuts (the "crunch" in question), and flakes of coconut. It's gloriously moist with an unexpected hint of tangy sour cream and a touch of earthy vanilla extract, which are enhanced by the coconut's fruity yet rich taste. The crunchy garnish and light, crispy sugar glaze add an excellent contrast to the soft, spongy cake underneath.
This dessert is a stunning but simple centerpiece, and the ultimate partner for whichever beverage you like to consume in the afternoon for a nice break from the activity of the day.
The History Of Louisiana Crunch Cake
Despite its name, Louisiana crunch cake is believed to originate from the Burny Brothers Bakery in Chicago. The bakery opened in 1910 on South Racine Avenue and grew into a famous enterprise in the state of Illinois. It was then sold to Beatrice Food Co. in 1963 before some of its remaining assets were sold to Entenmann's Bakery of New York. This came at a time when Entenmann's was expanding and making history for building one of the biggest baking facilities in the U.S. at the time.
Entenmann's is now known nationwide for selling packaged treats from donuts to pound cake. The company developed its own version of the Burny Brothers' cake and boxed the dessert under the label "Louisiana crunch cake." While it did not originate in Louisiana, nor did the company that made it famous, the cake does resemble southern treats such as the Kentucky butter crunch cake, which also uses a crunchy coconut topping, and the sock-it-to-me cake, which has a crunchy nut topping sandwiched in the crumb.
Louisiana Crunch Cake Variations
A classic Louisiana crunch cake embraces earthy, nutty, and creamy flavors, and you can modify the recipe to emphasize certain aspects of the cake. While almonds are a common choice for the crunchy topping, other nuts also make for a delicious cake. Try slightly sweet cashews, piney pistachios, earthy walnuts, or buttery pecans. To enhance their flavor and accentuate the crunchy texture, it's ideal to toast the nuts first. You can even add a dash of almond extract into the cake batter and the glaze that gets poured over top.
If you're a diehard fan of coconut, you may consider incorporating coconut extract into the cake batter, or substituting the heavy cream in the glaze with coconut milk. Either will produce a cake that subtly or loudly hums with coconut's rich and nutty flavor. Any way you modify it, Louisiana crunch cake is the ultimate comfort cake that offers everything you'd desire in a delightful afternoon treat.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.