I promised you the recipe for Vanilla Berries from my Hunger Games Party post so I made them again when we went camping. The only problem is that I still didn’t get decent enough pictures of them to merit it’s own post. The same thing goes for the raspberry filling that I made for my cousin’s (well, two cousins and my brother in law’s) birthday party. I mean I couldn’t go. It was my oldest’s 8th dance recital and at her studio she gets a big award for that one. We didn’t want to miss it. My aunt had already commissioned me though, to make my cousin’s cake and since she went a little different with the favors (a fruit filling!) I didn’t care how busy I was with the girls’ recital, I was GOING to make this cake. (Yes, I realize that it is still a “plain” chocolate cake with buttercream but its like pulling teeth to get my family to go outside of the box with the flavors they use in their cakes so I was way gung ho.)
I made sure that the one night that I didn’t have to be at the recital with my girls, I was going to be making this cake. I baked the cake that day, did hair, dropped them off, came home to make the filling and frosting, put the cake together, and with the crumb coat on made it back to pick up my girls in plenty of time. (It’s a long recital.) The next day was more of the same but this time the cake had to be finished, dropped off, and all kids dressed and ready to go by early afternoon and I still didn’t know how I was going to decorate it. Did I mention that it was super hot that week? Yeah, so after each step in the decorating process I had to put the cake back in the fridge to chill. It didn’t help matters that I was SUPER paranoid that the filling was going to spill out at any moment. It’s not because I didn’t have any faith in my recipe or my cake its just that sort of thing tends to happen when you absolutely have NO TIME for that sort of thing to happen. Thankfully, even with the horrid heat in the car, with the air conditioning that wouldn’t cool completely because we were stuck in traffic but still stayed squarely on the cake during the drive (my poor babies) my cake stayed intact and it was delivered to my sister’s to be delivered to the party, on time.
The verdict was a big thumbs up. And although no one took pictures of a slice (I have a blog to run here people, you could help me out), I was assured the filling stayed put as it should and didn’t spill out. It’s just one of those deep seeded fears whenever I am trying a new filling.
My GeekyLinks for this week are PLENTY so we’ll start now. Frakker Lacquer is now processing orders so I went and bought three bottles yesterday. I’m gonna have to buy more because how can I live my life without Little Green Man and Protocol Droid? For any panels you may have wanted to see at Comic Con a really great resource is GeekNation. However, its also worth checking out the Nerd Machine for some panels because I preferred the Orphan Black panel (skip ahead 10 minutes) from Nerd HQ rather than the official Comic Con one. (Yeah, I said it.) I know Clint and Darrell from Golden Spiral Media (my beloved Fringe podcast guys) were there and have a ton of coverage debuting this week and I am looking forward to it. So far my favorite trailers coming out of the con are Catching Fire, Gravity, and Veronica Mars. Have fun checking some of this stuff out!
2 16oz containers of strawberries, washed and halved
1 6oz container of blueberries, washed
1 6oz container of raspberries, washed
1 6oz container of blackberries, washed
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1/2 vanilla bean (you can use vanilla extract but I don’t recommend it)
In a small saucepan, mix the water and sugar together and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
To use the 1/2 vanilla bean, slice it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds and pod into the sugar and water. Once your sugar is dissolved and the mixture is cooled, remove the pod.
To use vanilla extract, make your simple syrup with the sugar and water and wait till the mixture is at room temperature before stirring in the extract. (Using this method you can sometimes smell the alcohol in the vanilla, not appetizing I know but it’ll do in a pinch.)
Mix all of the berries in a large bowl and when your vanilla syrup is cool to room temperature, pour all over your berries. I tend to not use all of the syrup (I use about 90%) but I always make this amount “just in case”. Stir carefully, cover and chill until ready to serve. When berries are on sale and in season, it makes a great dish to bring to a party.
Raspberry Cake Filling
1 6oz container of raspberries, washed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
Make your filling by combining raspberries, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickend and the berries are a bit soft. They are all going to break apart. Set aside to cool. If you would like more raspberry pieces, just do what I did and quarter a few and fold them into the mixture after it is completely cool.
I kept the seeds in my filling but I imagine if you did not want them you could press the mixture through a fine metal sieve.
Use to fill any cake or cupcake (or doughnut?) with raspberry goodness.