Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lucy Burdette's romantic raspberry cake

HALLIE EPHRON: It's Lucy Burdette's What We're Writing day, and I'm filling in to tell you what it is that I particularly adore about Lucy's Key West Food Critic series. Best, really the very best, the creme de la creme are the characters. Hayley Snow is tart and sweet, Lorenzo adds spice, Wally an earthy wheatiness, and Miss Gloria I think of as the nutmeg that you didn't know you needed to make a perfect dish.

I'm a foodie, so another pleasure of reading the books is ... the food. Lucy the author is a particularly talented baker, so it's not surprising that the parts about cakes and pastries are particularly scrumptious. And food drives the story in a Hayley Snow novel.  

I offer this tidbit from her FATAL RESERVATIONS as a case in point, food mingling with romance:
Then my thoughts seesawed back to the cake and which recipe would rise to the occasion of the after-party. Though some people might find this a sacrilege, Wally was not a fan of chocolate. And I tried to cook with whatever's in season in South Florida. Raspberries were not on that list in February. But I'd seen a couple of boxes at Fausto's market this morning They were organize and outrageously priced, but plump and soft red. I could imagine them folded into cream cheese icing with powdered sugar, turning a luscious pink color as they released their juices into the creamy frosting. I could make the cake tonight and finish up with the frosting in the morning.

But would this cake transmit the message that I cared a lot, but without pressure, and that it was for Valentine's Day, but no declaration intended not anything expected in return? Would it send the message of love and care, without appearing needy, too sweet, or cliched?

Then  realized that was a lot to ask of a cake.
 I don't know about you but I'm ready for a slice. Make that two slices. And the best part? The recipe is in the book.



  1. That cake certainly looks scrumptious --- and since I've got the book, I've got the recipe. Think I'll go bake a cake . . . .

  2. Love Haley Snow!!!

  3. I even have two heart-shaped cake pans. The cake looks like a winner.

  4. I love Lucy's characters and the food focus, though reading them does tend to make a woman hungry . . .

  5. Oh, that cake looks divine. And now I'm hungry again. =)

  6. Hmm. I picked two pounds of raspberries off my canes yesterday (they are profuse this year!), and we have book club tonight.

    I need a shopping list...

  7. Lucky you, Karen! We used to go to a wild patch where you could literally pick a quart at a time. It's now... a parking lot.

    Raspberry is my favorite "red" fruit flavor.

  8. Oh boy Karen, you hit the jackpot! If you don't have the book yet, the recipe is online at Mystery Lovers Kitchen--you can do a quick search and it will come up.

    Margaret, the heart-shaped pans would be so cute!

    and thanks again Hallie for putting this up for me!! xoxox

  9. So funny--"a lot to ask of a cake!" But it's exactly how people think--LOVE it!

    And I adore raspberries, too..not the fake flavor though, or "raspberry" anything. Just--real ones.

  10. Yum. Now how to make it a friendly but not needy cake.

  11. Oh, this looks fabulous! Like Wally, I'd rather have raspberries than chocolate.

    Karen, you are so lucky! Make the cake and tell us how it turns out! We don't grow raspberries, at least not in our part of Texas. Too delicate for our heat, I would think. But I grew up with wild blackberry thickets so am partial to blackberries--although the ones you buy in the supermarket are nowhere near as good as wild...

    I'm with Hallie on the best thing about Lucy's books--the characters. Miss Gloria as nutmeg, the little bit of spice you didn't know you needed! Perfect. Lovely Haley, love Key West, love food, love good story telling--and all in one package!

  12. How about raspberries WITH chocolate? :-)

    How's this for a funny coincidence? Less than an hour ago I Googled "traditional Irish desserts" and found Donegal Oatmeal Cream (pictured with raspberries!)

    Check out the "nonalcoholic" in the link. Haha! It's true that most of the desserts I found contained alcohol. :-)

    I love your sensuous description of the cake, Lucy. Mmmm ... sexy and yummy!

  13. When I read Lucy's Fatal Reservations, I thought that the raspberry cake would be out-of-this-world delicious. I haven't made it yet, but it's still lingering in the back of my mind that I need to. I love the food in Lucy's Haley Snow series, and with Key West being one of my favorite places to visit, I delight in Haley's visits or mentions of restaurants at which I've eaten.

    And, Hallie, you are so right about the characters. Your description of them was spot on. Miss Gloria truly is that spice that completes the recipe. Her volunteering at the cemetery was great and also pivotal to the plot in Fatal Reservations. I can't wait to read more with all these amazing characters in the setting I so love.

    Karen, if you make the cake, please let us all know how it turned out. That's one book club meeting I'd enjoy for sure!

  14. Celia Fowler are you there? You were a winner of WHAT YOU SEE! Email me soon..of I have to give it to someone else..xoxoo

    Please email me at h ryan at whdh dot com with your address!


  15. That frosting looks yummy

    I always put seedless raspberry jam between the
    layers of my chocolate or yellow/vanilla cakes

    Raspberry frosting never occurred to me

    Thanks for sharing the recipe

  16. Pat D, still laughing about how to make it a friendly but not needy cake:), thanks for that!

    Debs me too on preferring raspberry to chocolate. And no no no raspberry liqueor! (sp?)

    and thank you for the lovely lovely comments. Means so much, each one of you! xoxo

    and ps, have been working on Miss Gloria today, which is what I meant to share when I fell ill...another day:)

    and pps, my last captcha had had me selecting cakes--this time it was hot tubs. I think that's your influence debs!

  17. Just wanted to let you all know, I did not make the raspberry cake for book club, much to my regret. There were already a bunch of desserts slated, and since I'd originally said I'd bring a vegetable I am stuck taking Swiss chard. C'est la vie.

    On the plus side, this means I can make the cake for some other occasion, hopefully one where I can end up with more than one small slice!