Archive | February 10th, 2010

WalkerSpeak: Passion for Pink Cake

WalkerSpeak: Passion for Pink Cake

One of the standby desserts in Mexican restaurants where I grew up in Southern Arizona was pink cake. Not strawberry cake,  pink Jell-O cake, raspberry cake or Big Red cake. Just pink cake.

When I moved north to live in Flagstaff, and made trips through the Navajo and Hopi reservations, pink cake was there, too.

So, I was happy to find that restaurants in San Antonio also knew about pink cake. (Sometimes it’s really white or yellow cake with pink frosting, but if you’re lucky it’s pink inside and out.)

Two summers ago, while clearing out my mother-in-law’s house after her death, I came across two antique, but not-too-battered, heart-shaped cake pans. What was my first thought?  “Pink cake,” of course. Though, mine would have a whipped cream filling and be pink cake and pink frosting. Since raspberries are my favorite kind of “pink” food, it would have raspberries in it, too.

Looking online for just the right recipe Valentine’s Day recipe, I found this cake and a creamy lemon frosting, to which I added a little red food coloring. Have pink cake — for a party, for your sweetheart or to share with friends.

Banana-Raspberry Cake with Lemon Frosting

Cooking spray
1  tablespoon flour
1 1/3 cups  sugar
1/4  cup butter, at room temperature
3  large eggs
1 3/4  cups flour
2  teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  cup low-fat buttermilk
1  cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
1  teaspoon vanilla

3/4  cup  (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, chilled
2  tablespoons  butter, at room temperature
2  teaspoons  grated lemon zest
1/2  teaspoon  vanilla
Dash of salt
2 1/2  cups  powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 drops red food coloring
1 1/2  cups  fresh raspberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare the cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round or heart-shaped cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust each pan with 1 1/2 teaspoons flour.

Place granulated sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Lightly spoon 1 3/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine buttermilk, banana, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture (mix after each addition just until blended). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Peel off wax paper. Cool layers completely on wire rack.

To prepare frosting:  Combine cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, zest, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and dash of salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and 1-2 drops food coloring. Beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat).

Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Arrange raspberries in a single layer over frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator. Garnish with more fresh raspberries, if desired.

Makes 14 servings.


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Culinary Scholarship Awards for Women

Culinary Scholarship Awards for Women

Would you like a future career in the culinary arts?

The San Antonio Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is offering scholarships this year, as they have in past years, to area women who wish to pursue or re-enter the work force in a career of food or culinary arts, wine, hospitality and agriculture industries.

If you are interested, you must demonstrate financial need and attend an accredited institution to be eligible for an award. If you are currently enrolled in an educational institution, the you must submit a copy of their transcripts with the application and meet the minimum requirements.

For applications, go to the website of the San Antonio Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier,, or from the financial aid office of the school. You also may request one by mail by writing to: Les Dames d’Escoffier, c/o Diane Thomas, P.O. Box 17812, San Antonio, TX 78217.

Completed applications must be returned to the scholarship chairwoman, Marty Gonzalez, at the address below, no later than April 1. Successful scholarship recipients will be notified no later than April 30. Funds will be sent directly to the named educational institution no later than Sept. 1, 2010.

Les Dames d’Escoffier is a non-profit international association of women in achievement with careers in food, wine, hospitality and agriculture and is dedicated to assisting others through scholarships. The Green Tables initiative helps  bring about education at all levels to enhance fresh food supply and preparation, and other projects contribute as well.

Past awards have been made to local women attending The University of The Incarnate Word, St. Phillips College, Johnson and Wales, and The Culinary Institute of America.

Di-Anna Arias, President
Les Dames d’Escoffier International, San Antonio
(210) 434.2331
Marty Gonzalez, Scholarship Chair
Les Dames d’Escoffier International, San Antonio
(210) 402.0091

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