Dessert, Easy, Sweet

A Study of Love / Raspberry & Crème Fraîche Cake

He tumbles past in his father’s shoes, an industrious look etched onto his little face. He looks up at me and a smile touches his eyes just as my heart explodes in love once again. I swoop him into my arms and cover his face with kisses. He’s already old enough that kisses are not always welcome. A scrunched up nose as he pushes my seeking lips away and wriggles to be let down. His independence is already a source of pride and heartache.

He sits on his bed, rocking back and forth as he tries to pull off a sock. It’s a fighter and he nearly tips over mid heave. His face is a mask of furious concentration and the tip of his tongue pokes out in homage to his maternal grandfather. He wails for help, defeated for now, but assured by the support and love that surrounds him and his sockless endeavours.

He arches his back against the car seat, seemingly convinced that to give up and be strapped in would herald the end of the world, or so it seems. “Nonononononooooooo!” he screams, and I duck my head in the car, both to get a better grip on my wriggling progeny and to hide from imagined neighbours, craning their necks to see who is abusing that poor, sweet boy. He dissolves into hysterical tears as I win and his strap clicks into place, great gulping sobs that reflect utter devastation at his loss. He is distracted moments later by a bird or a plane and the apocalypse is averted.

He pulls himself onto our bed and plants a big kiss on my cheek. He’s just learned to add the ‘Mwah’ sound, picked up from the oohs and aahs that follow each utterance. His open-hearted giggles fill our room as I nibble his fingers and toes, and stomach and neck and anywhere else that will elicit that golden noise of my child in joy.

He bats at the baubles on the Christmas tree we put up this weekend. He’s already well aware that it’s not allowed. Judging from the smirk on his face when I voice my firmest, “No,” he’s testing all parental boundaries. I’m assured later by a laughing friend with older children that I ain’t seen nothin’ yet. We’re looking to start Christmas traditions for him, but neither of us were much for Christmas before him – any ideas in the comments section would be wonderful (translation: HELP!).

He opens his mouth wide to allow the new flavour to slide onto his tongue. We’re lucky that he will try anything and likes most everything he tries. When he tasted this cake his eyes stretched wide and he immediately opened his already-full mouth for more, apparently convinced that the space inside was infinitely fillable. It’s a sign of high approval and I think you’ll feel the same.

  • 300g frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup crème fraîche (if you can’t find any crème fraîche, use sour cream)
  • Fresh raspberries to decorate

Icing

  • 85g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 180˚C/350˚F

Place raspberries in a bowl and lightly crush, set aside 2 tbl sp of juice for the icing

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl, then add the eggs and mix well

Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well

Add sour cream and mix well

Grease and line a 23cm springform tin

Spoon about 1/3 of the cake mix into the pan

Spoon over about 1/2 the raspberries

Add another 1/3 of the cake mix on top

Spoon over the remainder of the raspberries

Add the last of the cake mix

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean

Allow to cool before turning out and icing

To make the icing, add the melted better to the reserved tbl sp of raspberry juice

Slowly mix in icing sugar until the icing is a nice, runny consistency

Spoon over the cake

Add raspberries to the top of the cake, pushing very gently to embed a little in the icing.

Serve with joy!

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2 thoughts on “A Study of Love / Raspberry & Crème Fraîche Cake

  1. Red Fortress says:

    That cake looks divine.

    As for Christmas traditions, here are some that my sister and I are working on with my nephew.

    Advent calendar – he’s a little young for it this year, but next year we will definitely be introducing him to the joys of anticipation that opening a Christmas door each day will bring. Mum used to buy us ones full of chocolate when we were kids, but I’m looking around for a quality wooden one for a more permanent tradition.
    Decorations – decorating the tree is fun, but making decorations is better. My sister and I are filled with evil glee as we post his misshapen efforts to his doting grandparents. There is always the Christmas paper chain, ubiquitous in every Australian primary school, the polystyrene ball decorated with fabric and glitter with nylon to hang it from the tree or even the Christmas wreath made out of strips of green garbage bags tied round an elongated coat hanger (lots of work that as a child I never finished). Two things we’ve done this year are painting dinosaurs (his favourite) on cardboard and attaching them to the tree, and painting onto plastic we got from a craft store that we then stuck in the oven where they shrunk into bizarre painted blobs that we hole-punched and threaded with nylon (those were for the grandparents). Art and science in one activity.
    Letter to Santa – for the past few weeks we’ve been asking him what he’d like for Christmas and talking about this. His list changes frequently and often hilariously, and I can’t wait to see the final version. He’ll draw some strange childish interpretation of what he wants and my sister will then teach him about addressing a letter, putting on a stamp and they’ll go and post it together. When I was young, Australia Post would send a letter back from Santa which would increase our delight. Oh for the days when receiving mail was exciting rather than bill laden disappointment.
    Making presents – drawing pictures for family, creating something in clay, there are so many things you can do. I like to buy a long roll of paper and he decorates it, and we then use it for wrapping paper. My presents don’t have the precise and colour-coordinated beauty of a decade ago, but they are gorgeous in their naive art.
    Gingerbread – people everywhere make gingerbread decorations (mine rarely have a chance to get decorated because I love eating it so much). Decorating gingerbread is good fun with a three year old – I hold the icing and he chooses the sweet that is to be stuck on the biscuit.
    Gardening – this one you have to plan in advance, and only works in the southern hemisphere. Plant some carrots for the reindeer.
    Leaving food out for Santa – good fun. I remember being so excited when I woke up to see my treats eaten next to my pile of presents.
    The visit to Santa – at the local department store (photos included of course). On my fridge I have three magnetized photos charting this experience. In the first he looks bewildered – who is this strange man? In the second he is screaming with terror – who is this strange man? This year’s photo sees him withdrawn – I know who this strange man is but I’m not going to look at the camera.
    The Night Before Christmas – this is a beautiful book and perfect to read aloud before bed.

    Hope done of my traditions inspire you to create your own.

    Like

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