Happy Endings

When the weather begins to warm and the great outdoors beacon you to explore them, it's time to think picnics! And when it comes to picnic desserts, there are a few rules:
  1. Make it easy,
  2. Make it good, and
  3. Make it mobil!

Traditional favorites include cookies and muffins, but I'd like to suggest a simple chocolate cake. While cake might not be a natural choice, by choosing a cake that doesn't have any gooey frosting or have lots of crumbs, it becomes a perfect match.

This cake is simple to make and gets its moist texture from a blackberry spread and its mild chocolate flavor from premium cocoa powder. While it's great on its own, it is also terrific when paired with fresh fruit -- especially sliced strawberries.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Chocolate Picnic Cake

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 c. margarine
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. blackberry all-fruit spread
  • 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. skim milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the margarine and sugars; mix with an electric mixer to blend. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg is added. Add the extract and fruit spread and mix again to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda; mix to blend. Carefully add the flour mixture alternating with the milk to the egg mixture until the batter has been fully mixed.

Carefully pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until it is set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan to a serving plate. Cool completely before slicing and serving. If desired, serve with fresh fruit.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour