July has mysteriously vanished and as I head into August I am left to think that never have I had a month zoom past me at the warp speed I experienced this month.
Besides the vacation, the buzz at our household in July was most certainly Soeren starting 1st grade in August. In Germany the beginning of school (not pre-school) is rejoiced with a fete called “Zuckertütenfest”.
To mark this milestone in a child’s life, family and friends are invited to join the festivities. The child gets a “Zuckertüte”, a sugar bag, filled with sweet treats and little toys. To sweeten the hard work they will be doing for a major part of their lives?
Apparently the legend has it that the Zuckertüte grows into a sugar tree! How sweet! Although Soeren just completed pre-school at the International School here in Weimar, the school has taken over this German custom for all their 1st graders too. I love this custom and can hardly wait for my son to start 1st grade, just so that I can plan the party!
Tom and I have been secretly planning, organizing and shopping for school supplies and goodies to fill his Zuckertüte. What fun – almost like Christmas in the middle of summer.
One day, a few weeks ago, as we were picking raspberries at a self-picking farm I asked Soeren what tree does he want his Zuckertüte to grow into. At the spur of the moment he said, with his mouth full of plump red raspberries, “A tree with all my favorite berries on it!”
We spent a good deal of our time at the self-picking farm gathering several berries and discussing the exciting path he would be taking. He is rather proud that he will be going to 1st grade as a 5 year old. A week later he turns 6!
Filled with the anticipation, I wanted to treat him with something sweet and berrylicious. Not a berry tree, but a berry cake, packed with juicy, sweet raspberries and nutty hazelnuts. The raspberries tartly kiss the cake, keeping it moist and soft. The whole hazelnuts add a lovely crunchy texture to the cake and plays off beautifully against the tangy tartness of the raspberries.
August will bring much more! Of that I am sure. But we are welcoming August with open arms. Zuckertütenfest and a birthday party are just two things that will be sweetening the new month for us – and whoever turned down sweet treats?
Printable version of recipe here.
200g fresh raspberries
160g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
150g butter, melted
100g whole hazelnuts, dry roasted
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare a 26 cm long loaf tin by brushing it with a bit of the melted butter and flouring the insides. Tap out any excess flour.
In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until creamy and pale.
In a separate bowl sieve the flour and baking powder together, then gently stir it into the egg mixture. Whisk only until the flour has been incorporate. Finally whisk in the melted butter.
Using a rubber spatula fold in 150g raspberries and 50g hazelnuts into the batter.
Pour a layer of the batter into the loaf tin, then layer with the remaining raspberries and hazelnuts. Pour in the rest of the batter into the tin.
Back the cake for 40-50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Take cake out of oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin. Then tip onto a rack and cool.
Tip: If you are baking this cake only for adults drizzle some raspberry brandy onto the cake while it is still warm. ;-)
Summertime berry-time! For us berries become a staple food in the summer. I am always trying to incorporate them in recipes be it salads, desserts cookies or cakes. One of our favorite ways to enjoy them is baking them in simple loaves and cakes. I have not re-invented the wheel here, but I do think this cake is a simple way to delight anyone and if you love berries this cake will provide you with pure satisfaction.
Berries are also on Susan's mind this month, who is hosting Sugar High Friday #45. She picked a theme that any berry lover could not resist: Berries. So Susan are you loving Soeren and my berrylicious cake or what?
You might like these berrylicious creations from WFLH:
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First