I’m not sure if I’m getting the nasty sickness that everyone around me has, or if I’m just exhausted after a major kitchen update followed by two rounds of houseguests, or maybe I’m just hungover from the wine and chocolate fundraiser we went to yesterday, but I came home and crawled in bed at 4:30 this afternoon. Even though I went to the grocery store on my way home I’m going to be having boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner. It will be the good organic kind with broccoli added, but boxed none the less.
Luckily for you, just because I’m having a rather pathetically lazy night (the sky just turned deep grey and opened up with sheets of rain! I don’t feel so crazy for being in bed now.) doesn’t mean I can’t share a great recipe. I have been doing a lot of cooking lately. The change in seasons and a new kitchen will do that to you.
A few weeks ago, when spring was just beginning to show up, I made a rustic rhubarb cake. It was just sweet enough with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. The cake was moist and the little bursts of soft rhubarb were a perfect balance. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the first glimpses of spring. The rhubarb stalks were so new and small that I felt a little guilty plucking them. The remaining stalks are now tripled in size so it didn’t seem to cause too much harm and I won’t harbor any guilt the next time I make this cake.
Rustic Rhubarb Cake
This cake came together quickly and easily. I used the stand mixer to cream the butter and sugar, but you could do it by hand and skip the mixer all together. I love the flavor of cardamom, especially with rhubarb, but it can be strong for some people. Smell it and go with your instincts when deciding how much to add.
2 cups chopped rhubarb (1/2″ chunks)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
Butter and flour a 8 or 9″ (2″ high) round cake pan.
Pre-heat your oven to 350
In a small bowl toss the chunked rhubarb with the 1/2 cup brown sugar. Let that sit for 30 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and 1 cup brown sugar until light and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla mix well. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the rhubarb mixture and yogurt. Stir well. In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients then add it to the rhubarb mixture and stir well to combine.
Spread batter in your prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the middle of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.
Serve with a dollop or two of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2 or 3 days.