About the Name:
This recipe is named after the 22nd Nancy Drew book, Clue in the Crumbling Wall. Like many of the other books, there are two versions. One is from 1945, the other is from 1973. I have not recently read either book, however a quick skim revealed that they are very similar.
Both versions feature Nancy exploring an old castle to find a missing dancer. The revised version is simply more condensed. For example, in the original version Nancy comes home in a thunderstorm, realizes her roses have been stolen, finds a pearl and has it stolen, before a police woman comes to her house to investigate the theft. The police woman mentions a mystery and Nancy tags along. This takes 14 pages.
The revised version starts with Nancy coming home in a thunderstorm to find a policewoman there, who tells her about the mystery and asks for her help. This takes 3 pages. The other bits are still in the revised edition, but the order has been rearranged so they come after the main mystery is introduced.
About The Recipe:
This is a coffee cake recipe. The first problem I ran into when attempting to make this recipe was the fact that it called for a 1 quart ring mold. I went to every store I could think of but failed to find the dish. Instead, I used a much larger bundt pan.
There is also a mathematical error in this recipe. The ingredient list calls for one and a half sticks butter (12 tablespoons). In the text of the recipe, it calls for 1/2 a cup (8 tablespoons), plus 3 tablespoons. There is no mention of what to do with the last tablespoon. I added 4 tablespoons to the second part.
Taste: Very delicious. Sweet, but not too sweet. Nuts are optional, I put them in and it adds a very nice crunch.
Ease of Preparation: Not too hard, if you don’t mind a little elbow grease creaming the sugar and butter. I had trouble deciding when mine looked ‘fluffy’
Clarity of instructions: Aside from the missing tablespoon of butter, the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
Presentation: I bet it would have looked nicer if I used the correct 1 quart ring mold. As it is, it’s quite a cute design and looks somewhat like a crumbling wall, especially if the nuts are included
Conclusions: One of the better recipes in the cookbook. It tastes nice, looks nice and is easy. But I can’t give it a perfect score due to that missing tablespoon of butter.