On a rainy Brooklyn evening in September, chefs, writers, historians, entrepreneurs and other creatives in hospitality gathered at the Babel Loft for a very special celebration. The Black women-founded venue was the perfect space for a night honoring Klancy Miller and the launch of her work of art, For The Culture—a book celebrating Black women and femmes in food, many of whom were physically present in the room. The unmatched vibrancy that was the Babel Loft that night was the perfect complement to the energy printed across the pages of Miller’s new book.
“I wanted it to be a love letter,” Miller tells Sweet July of For The Culture, which shares the same name as Miller’s food magazine. Thinking of it as a love letter feels much more fitting than simply calling it a spin-off cookbook. There are indeed recipes—48 to be exact, including a couple from Miller—but there’s also interviews, anecdotes, profiles and other written accounts from the Black women Miller believes are setting the tone and laying necessary foundation in hospitality.
Miller intentionally incorporated a wide range of voices spanning across the entire industry—decorated names (including Sweet July’s very own founder Ayesha Curry) as well as the up and comers deserving more shine. A trained pastry chef, recipe developer and author (her first cookbook Cooking Solo released in 2016), Miller was intent on creating a resource that she wished she had at the start of her career.
“I am a really big believer that if you see it, you can achieve it,” says Miller. “And sometimes you need to see somebody who looks like you doing what you’re interested in doing to know that it’s possible for you. That’s a big reason why I wanted to tell these stories. And for me, they’re just as important as the recipes.”
The recipes, of course, are still beautiful and necessary companions, including Miller’s own Raspberry Shortcake, which she shares with Sweet July. “You can actually end up making two or you can make just one—sometimes I really like making a dessert just for myself,” says Miller. It’s a thoughtful nod to her first cookbook, Cooking Solo. Cheers to full-circle moments!
Get Miller’s recipe below.
Klancy Miller's Raspberry Shortcake
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 teaspoon for the pan
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg white
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp confectioners’ sugar
18 to 20 fresh raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use 1 teaspoon of the butter to grease the inside of a 4-inch ramekin. Add 1 teaspoon of the flour, rotating the ramekin to coat it evenly, and shake out the excess.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg white with the brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the remaining flour and butter, the milk, vanilla, and baking powder, beating until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared ramekin, set it on a baking sheet, and place it in the oven. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until the cake is golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set it aside on a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Shortly before serving, whisk the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, tasting and adding more if desired.
- For a tower, remove the cake from the ramekin and cut it horizontally into three rounds of equal size. Place one round on a dessert plate and top with a third of the whipped cream and a third of the raspberries. Stack the second disk on top and layer it with a third of the whipped cream and a third of the berries. Place the final disk on top and garnish with the remaining whipped cream and raspberries.
- For a low-rise dessert, arrange the cake rounds on a plate and top with the raspberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.