Mennonite deliciousness

Blackberry cream cheese cakeIn July, we didn’t have our regular numbers for Read It & Steep … and man, were we glad!  It meant larger slices of cake for everybody.  Now, I could have dipped into the collection of recipes that Rhoda Janzen included in the memoir … but sadly, she doesn’t speak terribly highly of the sweets that she includes so I crossed platz and persimmon cookies off the list (plus Steeper Ann informs me that persimmons can be poisonous if you get them off season or something like that … well, we’ve joked enough about my baking being dangerous and I certainly didn’t want to get anybody really sick).

Janzen also includes some savory recipes like cotletten and warmer kartoffelsalat (very funny part of the book includes Rhoda’s mom saying a little rhyme about a soldier making kartoffelsalat in his pants, which is weird.  It did bring back great memories of my mom’s Polish rhymes and songs that she would sing to me as a child.  They were also weird.)  So as appetizing as Janzen made kartoffelsalat sound … you know … made in somebody’s pants … I decided to hunt around for something a bit tastier.
My initial search brought me to something that looked fantastic! Cream Cheese cake?  Yes, please!  Then I noticed that, sadly, my search had brought me to a site that had Amish recipes.  I clearly had typed in “Mennonite” when conducting my search, but as Janzen points out in Mennonite in a Little Black Dress people often confuse Mennonite with Amish.  Well, so had I before reading the memoir, so I was determined to only make something for book club that had the “Mennonite” stamp of approval.
Enter Mennonite Girls Can Cook, which is a really lovely blog with lots of yummy recipes.  Of course, now that I had seen the cream cheese cake on the Amish site, I really wanted something that included cream cheese.  Low and behold I found a Blackberry Cream Cheese Cake.  Yes, you read that right. Blackberry Cream Cheese Cake.  It called for a spring form pan, which I have, so I thought, “Yes! It’s go time.”  Then, I went to where I was certain that I had stored my spring form pan only to find that it was in actuality my angel food cake pan.  Boo.
Apparently, I left my spring form pan at my mom’s house when I moved … five years ago.  So, at 9:30 on a Monday night, I ran up to the local Superfresh and invested in a brand spanking new pan.  It was worth it. This cake is a layer of spongy not-too-sweet cake, a layer of a lovely cream cheese mix, fresh blackberries (just plopped into the cream cheese so they burst from the heat in the oven!), and a decadent streusel topping.  To be honest, the cake almost didn’t make it to book club since it made my house smell heavenly and I was sorely tempted to taste it.  I somehow was able to dredge up my self-control (for like the first time ever) and serve it to my Steepers.  It was awesome.  Ann made my night by saying, “This cake is so good that I’d eat it even if you did poison it.  It would be a good way to die.”
Everyone survived.
Our specialty tea of the evening was another delightful mix from the greatly missed Royal Tea House.  What better way to enjoy a summer evening than with Summer Fun Green Tea.  It was the perfect complement to the cake.  Yum!
I must apologize for the terrible picture.  I didn’t realize that the shot I’d taken on the cooling rack was a bit fuzzy.  By the time I noticed … . well, there was no more cake to take pictures of.  So, to see really lovely pictures of this cake and access the delicious recipe at Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

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