OSL & Macrina: Partnering to Make a Difference

Ever wonder how Macrina makes just enough fresh loaves of bread and an assortment of pastries every day to satisfy our customers’ appetites week in and week out? We don’t. We make extra, enough so that though we may run out of some pastries and loaves, a customer who shows up right before closing will still find something satisfying. Additionally, we inevitably wind up with a few misshapen loaves and pastries that don’t meet our standards.  

So, what do we do with what we refer to as fresh overages?  We donate to a handful of food banks and local nonprofits. One of our key partners is OSL. Originally called Operation Sack Lunch, OSL was founded in 1989 with the distribution of 30 sack lunches on the streets of Seattle. Now they serve about 2 million healthy meals to those who struggle with hunger in our community every year. They hire many staff members from their client base and provide an equitable wage and generous benefits designed to combat poverty-level wages. They encourage positive life changes and forward motion.   OSL picks up overages from our cafes and bread production facility in Kent and incorporates the bread and pastries into their meals. “None of Macrina’s pastries last long in our meal lines,” says Abid Choudhury, OSL Operations Director. “They are getting snatched up real fast. They really are a gift.” “We are grateful for our partnership with OSL,” says Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s founder. “They are immediately getting our day-end pastries and breads and making them part of a nutritious, dignified meal for those in our community who are in need of support.” 

Chocolate Raspberry Icebox Cake

Icebox cakes are magic! Layer a few components together, place in the refrigerator, and hours later you have something transcendent — moist, creamy and irresistibly delicious. Icebox cakes gained prominence in the 1920s when companies were promoting a new home appliance — the electric icebox! The cake’s popularity soared when Nabisco included a recipe for an icebox cake on the packaging for their Famous Chocolate Wafers in 1929. Variations proliferated, some with ladyfingers, crisp wafers, and cake, and fillings ranging from Bavarian cream to ice cream to whipped cream. Our spin on the classic makes an elegant Valentine’s Day treat or dessert for your next dinner party. It features chocolate cake, fresh raspberries, Project Barnstorm Raspberry Conserve, and rose scented sweetened whipped cream.
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of the recipe here.
Makes 6-8 servings

2 eggs
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1¾ cup granulated sugar
1½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup boiling water

2 cups heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1¼ tsp rose extract

48 fresh raspberries (about 2 pints)
⅔ cup Project Barnstorm Raspberry Conserve (or similar)

½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a 9-inch square cake pan by brushing it with oil and lining it with a 9-inch x 14-inch piece of parchment. The overhang will help you lift the cake from the pan after baking.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the stand mixer bowl. Mix on low for 1 minute. With the mixer running at medium speed, add the egg mixture and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to ensure all is well incorporated. With the mixer running at medium speed, slowly add the boiling water in a slow stream and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds).

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 30 minutes. Using a paring knife, release the cake on the two unlined sides. Use the parchment edges to carefully lift the cake from the pan. Cutting top down, slice the cake in half. Then cut the two pieces in half horizontally to produce 4 rectangular layers (each roughly three-quarters of an inch thick).

Fit a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and place the heavy whipping cream in the bowl. Sprinkle in the sugar and rose extract. Whisk the cream until it has medium-firm peaks. Set aside.

Place one cake layer on your serving platter. Evenly spread 1/3 cup raspberry conserve on the top of the layer. Top the conserve with fresh raspberries by placing 24 berries, hollow end down, in a loose 6 by 4 grid. Layer a third of the whipped cream over the raspberries and level with a spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat the same procedure. Top with the third layer and press gently to level the cake. Spread the sides with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Use the remaining cake layer to make cake crumbles. Preheat the oven to 325°F. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, break up the remaining cake layer into small pieces. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Place the dried cake pieces in the food processor and pulse to make crumbs. Set aside.

To make the ganache, place the heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate chips, and whisk until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Pull the chilled cake from the refrigerator and top it with the ganache. You can spread the ganache just on top or allow it to cascade over the sides, as you wish. Top the ganache with the reserved cake crumbs. Keep the cake refrigerated and serve it chilled. Port, coffee or tea make great accompaniments. Enjoy!