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I like watching cooking shows when I have the chance.  I’m not entirely sure why.  I’m rarely ever inspired to actually cook afterward.  I guess it’s just to build up my stockpile of cooking information.

Anyway, I somewhat recently discovered the show My Grandmother’s Ravioli on the Cooking Channel.  My siblings and I sometimes poke fun at the Cooking Channel, saying that only the people who aren’t good enough for the Food Network make it onto the Cooking Channel.  When the Cooking Channel launched, it was full of awkward hosts and poor editing.  Well, I think they’ve gotten better and they’ve gotten some more interesting shows.  Good Eats reruns, for one.  And My Grandmother’s Ravioli.

I really like the concept behind My Grandmother’s Ravioli.  Host, Mo Rocca, whom I find moderately annoying and sometimes funny, goes around the US learning how cook from different grandparents while getting a little bit of their story and background.  My favorite episode involves grandmother and Holocaust survivor, Ruth Teig.  The episode that features her is just…so nice.  She’s just an all around nice person.  I would think anyone would love to have her as a grandmother.

Anyway, in that episode, she shares some traditional Jewish recipes and also her recipe for coffee cake.  A coffee cake so good that it allows her to skip to the front of the line at the DMV.  Obviously I have to try this.  So I did.

Please to ignore the tomato.

Please to ignore the tomato.

It is quite good.  Of course, I’m a fan of chocolate and walnuts and cinnamon, so I’d be hard pressed not to like this coffee cake.  Also, I’m a big fan of coffee cake, since it goes so well with coffee.

Anyway, the recipe is linked above.  Here are some notes from when I tried this recipe:

  • I subbed plain Greek yogurt in for the sour cream because that’s what I had on hand.  It works and the cake is still quite delicious, but I think it’s missing a slight tang from the sour cream.  If possible, keep the sour cream.
  • I subbed semi-sweet chocolate chips in for the chocolate chunks.  You don’t get the same texture, but it’s fine.
  • I cut down a bit on the sugar because a lot of dessert recipes are too sweet for my taste.  I used probably about 1 cup of sugar instead of the 1.25 cups.
  • The batter is thick.  THICK.  It will be hard to spread out.  I found the easiest way to form a layer is plop down a few dollops around the pan and then to spin the pan around while holding a silicone spatula in a fixed position (I used a tube pan).
  • The cake is moist and fluffy and it has cinnamony nuts and chocolate.  Really, what’s not to like?
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