Last night I was looking to do a quick baking project that could make use of some leftover cream cheese in the fridge (lately, I have taken to buying 3-lb. bricks of Philly cream cheese at Costco; I have used about four and a half pounds of the stuff since last week, but I still had half of a brick left). I browsed through some cookbooks until I found something that met the bill, a recipe for "Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake" from Chocolate Snowball by Letty Halloran Flatt. Chocolate Snowball is a collection of recipes from the pastry chef at Deer Valley Resort in Utah. I bought the book on impulse in a used book store. (Whenever I pass by any used bookstore, I go in and ask for the cooking section. It's a great way to get cookbooks at a steep discount, often in mint condition.)
The ski-related gimmick of the book is that each recipe is given a difficulty rating from the ski trail rating system: green circle, blue square, or black diamond (only one recipe in the entire book, the three-tier "Orange Almond Wedding Cake," merits a double black diamond difficulty rating). This recipe, mercifully, only rated a green circle.
The cake batter is a mixture of butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and whole milk. After the thick batter is spread into the pan, you add dollops of raspberry spreadable fruit and marble them into the batter (although most of it sinks to the bottom of the cake anyway). The final touch is a butter streusel topping of butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. The smell of this cake baking was one of the most heavenly and intoxicating aromas I have ever had the pleasure of inhaling. (Random thought of the day: real estate agents holding open houses should bake a cake this like right before prospective home shoppers come by... an aroma this good cannot fail to put anyone who gets a whiff into an exceedingly positive mood.).
The finished cake was light-textured and moist, and not too sweet. I think it might be improved by the addition of either fresh or dried raspberries to intensify the fruit flavor a bit. But otherwise, I thought it was a great cake and I would happily make it again.
Recipe: "Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake" from Chocolate Snowball by Letty Halloran Flatt.