Monday, August 23, 2010

Hunting the elusive raspberry (and a cake recipe)

I’ve been more than satisfied with my subscription to Penn’s Corner CSA. Each box has been full of delicious and varied produce from lettuce to cheese to peaches to tomatoes. However, there has been a severe lack of fresh summer berries. I got a couple pints of blueberries in July, but haven’t had a single raspberry. This weekend, I was lucky to be able to satisfy my raspberry craving with a berry-picking adventure at Reilly’s Summer Seat just outside of Pittsburgh.

My boyfriend and I spent a happy hour in the sun picking raspberries from the rows of plants at Reilly’s. At first glance, it doesn’t look like there are many raspberries, but after turning a few leaves (and pricking myself on a couple thorns), I found that first clump of perfect, juicy summer red raspberries. After that, and additional hunting, we easily filled three pints. While we will each be able to eat a pint with ease, I used the third (plus a bit more) to bake a cake with chocolate frosting while it rained on Sunday. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Raspberry Layer Cake with Chocolate-Raspberry Frosting

For the cake:


2 tbsp. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
2 cups fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Cream butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Pour into prepared cake pans. Sprinkle 1 cup of raspberries over each. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before frosting.

Cake ready to go into the oven:

For the frosting:


3 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
1 3/4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
3 T butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T milk
½ c. fresh raspberries

Melt chocolate. Remove from heat. Blend in 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir in butter. Add remaining sugar. Stir in vanilla and raspberries. Add additional milk, if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting reaches spreading consistency. (If too thin, add confectioners’ sugar.)

The finished product (minus a couple of slices). It's not the most glamorous cake, but I think the gooey frosting bits and cake crumbles make it look all the more delicious.

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