The Raspberry Coffee Cake stands as one of the most popular, and most delicious, treats served at the table. The sweet, yet tart, flavor makes any meal a special occasion, leaving you and your family satisfied. But, despite its popularity, few know that this cake was actually the product of a long line of medicinal study. The slice you enjoy is just the final step of many.
So, before you settle down to enjoy a thick piece of cake and a hot cup of coffee, let us explain just how this popular treat came to be. The explanation may just surprise you.
Before there was raspberry coffee cake, there was just the raspberry. This tart fruit was quickly valued for its healing properties, and people saw it as a way to help ease their problems. Whether they suffered from stomach ailments or the pain of childbirth, the fruit (boiled into a tea form) was used as way to cut the pain.
When this helpful fruit was not being turned into liquid, its leaves and roots were used to treat mouth problems: sores, blisters, burns and other inflammations. It was even used for other body wounds; nothing major, of course, but smaller cuts and scabs would be treated with it.
As the times changed, so did the uses for the fruit (we know we haven't reached the raspberry coffee cake yet, but we are getting there). European men and women used the fruit to choke down the impulse to vomit when they were ill, as it seemed to serve as a way to soothe violent contractions in the stomach.
Even later, in the eighteenth century, the fruit was said to be a treatment for heart problems and was used to remedy them.
It was during this time, though, that the fruit was also thought of as more than just a medicine. Its slightly sweet, slightly sour taste had long since been known but few had put it to food practice. Suddenly, the idea seemed quite simple.
Why not use this for more than just healing? Why not put it to yet another practical application? Food.
And so the raspberry coffee cake, along with pies, jellies and other sweets, was created. Quickly, these snacks became popular among the masses. Their unusual taste was a nice contrast to the typical sugar treats and, since they had been using raspberries all along, it was still familiar enough to enjoy.
There was no shocking tartness to be found, or any surprise with the slightly bitter quality. Instead, the raspberry coffee cake, along with the other foods, just affirmed what had already been known: this fruit tastes good.
So, before you dive into that delectable raspberry coffee cake taunting you from the kitchen counter, think back for a moment of how long it took to actually get to your counter. Hundreds and hundreds of years went by before people understood the value of this fruit (in food terms, that is). Aren't you glad they did? You will be when you taste this Raspberry Coffee Cake recipe:
Cut cream cheese and butter into Bisquik until crumbly. Blend in 1/3 cup milk with wooden spoon. Turn onto floured surface and knead 8-10 strokes. Roll into 12" x 8" rectangle. Spread preserves over center of dough. Make 21/2" cuts at 12" intervals on long side. Fold strips over filling and pinch ends together. Transfer cake onto 9"x13" greased pan or cookie sheet. Bake 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Prepare glaze by combing powder sugar, 1-2 tsp milk and vanilla. Drizzle over the raspberry coffee cake while still hot.
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