I gravitate towards tart flavors. I prefer my gin and tonic to contain an entire lime, occasionally leaving a tiny wedge for Brandon. To trick myself into drinking more water, I squeeze in a whole lemon’s juices to make it more interesting. Those biting, wince inducing flavors are some of my favorites. Not sure why. It could speak to my personality, but I doubt it.
A week or so ago, as we wandered the Broadway Farmer’s Market, I was excited to find out what was in season. I imagined the market to be overflowing in magnificent produce since it has felt like spring here for weeks. Alas, I was disappointed. There wasn’t much variety, though there was an over abundance of rhubarb and leeks. I grabbed a few of the deep pink stalks, tinged with green. Good thing I had the foresight to gather rhubarb inspired recipes just a few days before. (See Pinterest board)
Since I’m a timid and lazy baker, I chose the simplest recipe. Pastry Affair’s Rhubarb Vanilla Pound Cake was just the ticket. Easy, with little mess and my kitchen happened to have all the necessary ingredients. I wanted to use my precious, snappy rhubarb wisely, and not allow it to get too sweet or boring. This cake provided a quiet backdrop to enhance the tangy rhubarb flavor. Topped with minted strawberries, this cake was a perfect spring dessert. Be sure to accompany with a cup of excellent coffee to get the full effect.
Vanilla Rhubarb Cake
From Pastry Affair
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Or if you don’t have one (like me) you can use a wider cake pan, and you’ll just get a thinner slice of cake. Wash and cut up a 2-4 stalks of rhubarb into about 1/2- inch pieces. Mix with about 1/4 cup of sugar and cook in a small pot or frying pan until it just gets soft, should be just 5-7 minutes.
Mix 1/2 cup butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until throughly mixed and light and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time , for a total of 3 eggs, and be sure to mix it in well. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste if you have that on hand. Add 1/3 cup of sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix well. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour until just mixed. Lightly stir in the rhubarb and its juices. Pour the batter into the pan, top with a sprinkle of sugar and bake for about 45-50 minutes.
Enjoy warm from the oven or at room temperature.