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An Unexpected Twist on an Old Favorite. . .

Sometimes it is not always the best thing to try to get all of the baking done for your guests at day break.  Especially when you start the morning off a little groggy, so that your stout black coffee can’t bring you out of the fog.  But as the saying goes “ Sometimes good things rise out of  the bad.”

This particular March morning, I had planned to serve my rhubarb coffee cake.  I walked out to the garden through the dew washed grass and returned to the kitchen with a pan of crisp, fresh, red rhubarb.  With a quick glance at the clock, I realized I would need to hurry, and hurry I did to get everything ready for the 8:00 breakfast.  Washing, chopping the rhubarb, mixing the batter, adding the spices, I did it.  Just in time the oven door was shut with time to start on the fruit compote.  My cousin, who was visiting also, entered the kitchen full of morning cheer and began helping by cleaning up.

“Do you want me to put this away?” she asked.

“Yes,”  I said. “ Is it the cinnamon?”

“No, it’s the chili powder.”


In my morning stupor I had mixed 1T of chili powder with the brown sugar and butter for the crumb topping.

Wide awake now, I pulled the coffee cake from the oven.  Too late, the topping was already bubbling in the rich batter.

“Here, you taste it!”  and we skimmed a sample of the sugary chili powder concoction off.

“Not bad!”  To my complete surprise, it was good.

Our relief turned to hysterical laughter.  Tears were streaming down our faces and the laughter didn’t stop there.  Our guests started coming down stairs, and were caught a little off guard  by the noise coming from the kitchen.  When everyone was seated around the table, we were still laughing, having sworn to each other that the mistake was our secret.

But of course, the secret spilled out and with much laughter it was decided that the new recipe was a great success.  So in my recipe book now 1T of cinnamon has been crossed out and 1T of chili powder replaces it.

Here is the new recipe.  You can try it if you are feeling adventurous, or stick to the old one if you don’t trust me…Either one is delicious!

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