Monday, 28 July 2014

Farm Fresh Rhubarb Cake

Hi hello!  It is good to be back!  We've had a crazy few months, with buying, selling and moving house, followed by an amazing holiday away to Estonia and England exploring and visiting family... Before coming back to our incredible new house to make it our home :-)

So the blogging had a little break, and so did my baking while everything was packed up in boxes for a month or so which was super sad, but I'm happy to be back baking - and made up a little bit as I baked twice in two days which is just perfect!! 

Our new home is just down the street from a local farm, with pick-your-own seasonal fruit and veg, and a farm market, so before baking this week I wanted to pick up some farm fresh rhubarb, because why not buy local?!  And it was so worth the taste!! 

So here I am - super excited to be back baking and blogging.  Super relieved that our new oven worked and baked the cake through evenly.  And SO happy and excited to be in our new home and for all the adventures that are coming up!
We had the big cousin Summer bash last weekend, where I have made a citrus cake, and nautical themed cake in past years, but this year went a bit more rustic and fresh with a Rhubarb cake (inspired by all the rhubarb flavours we tasted while in Europe in various cakes!), with almond buttercream and fresh strawberry filling.
I am totally in love with this new recipe (firstly inspired by The Transplanted Baker) and how it turned into a deliciously moist and tangy rhubarb cake, with the sweet almond buttercream and fresh strawberries.  A perfect dessert!
First came a test run in muffin form that were for an event I had signed up to make 12 muffins for.  It was great timing to try it out, and I had plenty of rhubarb! 

And then the next morning it was time for the full on cake ready to take to the party! 
Here's the recipe, and finished product photos at the end.  I'll DEFINITELY be making this recipe again :-D
6 stalks (450g) fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1cm pieces
200g sugar
225g unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
280g all purpose (plain) flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Some more coarse sugar for sprinkling
and for the buttercream:
6oz unsalted butter, softened
18oz icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 9/10 inch sandwich tins.  Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
2.  In a large mixing bowl (I used the stand mixer) - cream the butter and sugar.
3.  Add the buttermilk, then the eggs, one by one mixing until well blended.  Add the vanilla.
4.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
5.  Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, until everything is combined.  Then fold in the sliced rhubarb.
6.  Fill the prepared pans with the batter, and smooth the top with a spatula.
7.  Sprinkle the top with the coarse sugar.
8.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes, checking to test if it is done with a cake tester/skewer.  The top should be golden brown and should spring back when touched.
9.  Leave the cakes to cool on the rack.
10.  While cooling, you can prepare the buttercream in the mixer - cream together the butter and icing sugar.  Add the milk and extracts and beat until well whipped. 
11.  Slice the fresh strawberries and when the cake is cooled fill and decorate with buttercream and strawberries.

This cake was a really great, easy recipe, that was perfect for a summer's day - fresh and sweet.  And there were NO leftovers!  Good and bad right?!  I hope you find some deliciously fresh rhubarb somewhere and get a chance to try this out - I'll for sure be making it again later this Summer!... And there's still some rhubarb left in the fridge... expect another rhubarb bake coming soon :-)
I also just noticed this is my 100th post!!  YEY!