Need Help Trying to Recreate a Favorite Childhood Cake


SHA

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In the 1960's (the heyday of terrific local bakeries in NYC ?), there was a bakery in the Riverdale section of the Bronx called Mother's Bake Shop. The bakers were Eastern European. They made a cake that was called a cinnamon babka but I think it was actually maybe a Kugelhopf (it didn't have streusel on top) ?
It had the shape as if it was baked in a tube pan. What stood out about the cake was the outside crust - it had a slightly greasy/fried quality and was somewhat thick (they finished it by drizzling what I imagine was a soft-ball stage sugar/honey glaze on top). I was able to get in touch with the owner's son but he doesn't have the recipes anymore and I've never seen anything like it on the internet. In trying to recreate it, I started by using Martha Stewart's chocolate kugelhopf using bread flour instead of all purpose, and baked it in a bundt pan. The overall cake was pretty close except for the quality of the crust I described above.
I tried a second time and coated the pan heavily with bakers grease thinking that would achieve the effect but it didn't work. Would any experienced bakers have any ideas (I'm wondering for my next attempt if I should greatly increase the amount of butter) ?
 
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In the 1960's (the heyday of terrific local bakeries in NYC ?), there was a bakery in the Riverdale section of the Bronx called Mother's Bake Shop. The bakers were Eastern European. They made a cake that was called a cinnamon babka but I think it was actually maybe a Kugelhopf (it didn't have streusel on top) ?
It had the shape as if it was baked in a tube pan. What stood out about the cake was the outside crust - it had a slightly greasy/fried quality and was somewhat thick (they finished it by drizzling what I imagine was a soft-ball stage sugar/honey glaze on top). I was able to get in touch with the owner's son but he doesn't have the recipes anymore and I've never seen anything like it on the internet. In trying to recreate it, I started by using Martha Stewart's chocolate kugelhopf using bread flour instead of all purpose, and baked it in a bundt pan. The overall cake was pretty close except for the quality of the crust I described above.
I tried a second time and coated the pan heavily with bakers grease thinking that would achieve the effect but it didn't work. Would any experienced bakers have any ideas (I'm wondering for my next attempt if I should greatly increase the amount of butter) ?

there is actually a babka cake. Look for a rumowa or easter babka polish cake recipe to use as your base. Then recreate it from there.
 

SHA

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Would you have any ideas on how to end up with a crust that has that slightly greasy/fried texture ?
 
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Would you have any ideas on how to end up with a crust that has that slightly greasy/fried texture ?
It be honest I have never of a cake having that type of texture. It may be they just had a highly enriched dough and just heavily greased their pans so the excess fat caused the exterior to almost fry. It is impossible to know. It was common for bakeries to make their own pan grease with equal parts flour, shortening, and flour by weight. We call this baker’s grease. When a bundt pan is heavily coated with baker’s grease it will give a crust to the cake.
 

SHA

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Because I don't have enough time to pursue numerous trials, I ended up making more changes than I should have - when I tried the bakers grease, I also used a tube pan (to reproduce the shape of the original cake) instead of sticking with the bundt pan. The result was way off from my first try - this cake had no crust and was very dry and soft and fell apart.
 
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Because I don't have enough time to pursue numerous trials, I ended up making more changes than I should have - when I tried the bakers grease, I also used a tube pan (to reproduce the shape of the original cake) instead of sticking with the bundt pan. The result was way off from my first try - this cake had no crust and was very dry and soft and fell apart.

baba cake is specific type of cake-it is a yeast cake. It is not a whipped batter or cream batter. So make sure you are using the correct type of recipe and pan.
 
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SHA

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So for my next try I will increase the butter in the cake (along with using the baker's grease). This babka cake had a tube pan shape - would you know where I could find that shape but built like a heavy bundt pan (either metal or ceramic) ?
 

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