The upcoming holidays make me think of cake. And one cake that my native-born City friends always reminisce about is “Blum’s Koffee Krunch Cake.” That is the original Blum’s spelling.
Blum’s was a restaurant and bakery with a prime location on Geary Street, across from Union Square. It was the perfect place to indulge in sweets while taking a break from shopping downtown at I.Magnin, Joseph Magnin, and City of Paris. Of course, everyone had their favorite pastry, but the consensus is that the Koffee Krunch Cake was unique and always identified with Blum’s.
There are many recipes for this cake floating around in cyberspace. And if you are an adventurous cook, you can tackle the job of making the crunch, a delicious concoction that makes foam of the sugar and coffee mixture when you add baking soda. You allow the foam to cool and harden before breaking it into pieces to apply it to the frosting.
Or, you can simply order a cake, or buy just the crunch, at Tom Yasukochi’s bakery located in the Super Mira Market at 1790 Sutter Street in Japantown. One afternoon, a friend and I walked in to the bakery in the mid-afternoon looking for a slice of the famous cake. Mr. Yasukochi, a Lowell High School grad and the 74-year old baker told me, “If you want slices of the crunch cake, you’ll have to call me in the morning and I’ll reserve some pieces for you.” He’s taking holiday orders now: Yasukochi’s Sweet Stop (415) 931-8165.