Monday, July 11, 2011

Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake

Apologies for not posting last week--I've been ill and sitting in front of a computer to blog just wasn't working out. To make up for it, today's recipe is for cake!

I've gotten a few requests for a new rhubarb recipe, and now that it's in season I can get to work! I'd been wanting to make this cake for weeks, and I finally got around to it.

I intended on making this cake with blueberries because I had them on hand, but when I saw the beautiful rhubarb at the farmer's market I was overjoyed.

Before doing anything to the rhubarb, the cake needs to be put together. It starts with room-temperature butter and both white and brown sugars.

Use a handheld mixer to cream the butter and sugars together.

I don't think this is enough quantity to warrant a stand mixer. Actually, I don't think my mixer could mix such a small amount.

Anyway, mix it until the butter and sugars are pretty much one substance.

Add an egg and a little vanilla extract.

Go back to mixing until the batter is fluffy and lighter in color. I'd beat for at least a couple of minutes.

Now, you'll want to mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. It's just flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a little bit of salt.

You'll also want to measure out half a cup of buttermilk.

And yes, I'm setting a bad example by measuring a liquid in a dry measuring cup.

Dump about a third of your flour mixture in with the butter and sugars.
Beat until it's all mixed in.

Now pour in half the buttermilk.

Beat that until it's completely mixed in.

Back to the flour.

Then the rest of the buttermilk.

Finally, the rest of the flour.

That's a nice-looking batter, wouldn't you say?

Now grease a 9" cake pan very, very well. Make sure to get in all the corners.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top.

Now clean the rhubarb and and chop it into small pieces. You'll need about a cup. I chopped it all up and froze what I didn't use.

Sprinkle the rhubarb over the top of the cake batter.

Then sprinkle some sugar over the top of the rhubarb. For some extra crunch, use both granulated and raw sugars.

Then into the oven!

In less than half an hour, your cake will be ready to come out!

Let it rest in the pan (and on a cooling rack) for 10-15 minutes. Then lightly run a butter knife around the outside of the cake to help it come out cleanly. Flip the cake over onto a cooling rack. If you greased your pan well enough, it should pop right out.

After the short upside-down resting period, flip the cake over again so it's right-side-up. I flipped mine onto a cake plate. Now you can cut into it or let it rest longer so it's fully cooled. Your choice.

I couldn't wait, and cut myself a big ol' slice.

Oh, and as a quick tip, I used the cake pan that the rhubarb cake baked in to cover the cake. Much easier than trying to remember to cover it with tinfoil.

Then I dusted it with powdered sugar. Would have been fabulous with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, too (ooh, or strawberry ice cream!) However you want to serve it, you'll find it's fabulous. A little denser than a coffee cake, but not as rich as pound cake. What's not to like--it's quick, easy, seasonal, and you can make it with whatever fruit you like. The cake is not a lie!

Recipe: Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake

1/2 stick butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt

1/2 c. buttermilk

1 c. sliced rhubarb
1 tbsp. raw sugar
1 tbsp. granulated sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Add egg and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar; beat until combined. Add half the buttermilk; beat until combined. Repeat, alternating flour and buttermilk, until completely incorporated.

Pour cake batter into a very well greased 9" cake pan.

Sprinkle rhubarb over the top of the batter. Sprinkle sugar over the rhubarb.

Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack. Cool an additional 10-15 minutes before serving.

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