Peace, Love + Raspberry Cake

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Peace, Love + Raspberry Cake
18 July 2016

“Our life is just so great at the moment, no real stresses or worries.” As soon as the words spilled from my lips I knew I should have left them as a quiet unspoken thought. I’m aware it’s silly to blame the words on unfortunate things happening, but here I am a little numb with grief and at a loss at what to do with my day.

On Friday our sweet little dog, Gem (or Gemmie Gemmie Gem Gems, we called her for short), was hit by a car and died. Even as I write those words I still can’t believe it. I’ve never experienced the death of a pet as a grown up. Pets came and went when I was a kid, and I was sad when they left us, but I don’t remember feeling it as I do today. She was such a tiny thing, who’s left a giant hole. I didn’t realise how much she was part of our day, until she wasn’t anymore.

Grief has affected quite a few people who are close to me lately and I feel a little bit silly being so torn up by my dog, when they’ve lost actual people. But it got me thinking about how people who are feeling grief, or loss or even just sadness go through their day-to-day.

Sometimes people, myself included, are quick to jump to the conclusion people we interact with are rude, unfriendly or cold. You’re at the checkout and you think, “Gosh she’s such a grumpy checkout lady!” But perhaps she’s going through a really hard time. Perhaps being out in the world is just an extra thing to deal with. Perhaps only hours before you’d seen her at the checkout she was crying under a doona, or staring blankly at the wall, or sitting in the car working herself up to actually opening the door and facing the rest of the world.

People everywhere are going through crap everyday. I’m really making an effort to approach everyone with this understanding more. I try to smile at each person I pass, help people when I can or at the very least not judge behaviour as a reflection of what they think of me, because realistically I’m the last thing from their mind. So far approaching the world this way, has made my life a lot lighter and given me experiences I would have once walked by. I like it.

Here’s something you could make for someone who is feeling a little down in the dumps. It’s a little ray of sunshine on darker days.

RASPBERRY, LEMON + YOGHURT CAKE

WHAT YOU NEED

For the cake:

  • 300g / 10.5oz self raising flour
  • 125g / 4.5oz unsalted butter
  • 225g / 8oz caster sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 115g / 4oz Greek yogurt
  • 200g / 7oz frozen raspberries

For the icing:

  • 150g / 5.5oz icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 raspberries

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease and flour a bundt cake tin (you can use whatever one you have lying about).
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour, then the yogurt and finally the raspberries.
  5. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45–50 minutes, or until as skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should comes out clean.
  6. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. In a food processor, mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and raspberries until smooth.
  8. Pour over the cooled cake and sprinkle with some more raspberries.

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