Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rhubarb strawberry puddin' cake

This is just plain freakin' YUM! And it's easy to make. I had a bee in my bonnet to make a tart, but by the time I got home this evening I didn't have the patience nor stamina. Enter this no-beating-or-chilling-necessary cake. I wanted a fair bit of the tart rhubarb to stand out, so I used more rhubarb than strawberries and kept the sugar to a minimum. I did, however, use candied ginger which lends a touch of sweetness. Anyhow, it turned out great. I just might have to whip up another one for mother's day. Susie, my mom, asked for a hula hoop! Sweet and tart all around...

Rhubarb strawberry pudding cake

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 cups trimmed rhubarb, chopped
2 cups strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size (they don't have to be tiny)
2 T candied ginger, minced
1 cup flour
1 3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled *
1 t. vanilla
  • Preheat oven to 400 and place rack in middle position. Butter an 8 inch square ceramic or glass baking dish.
  • In a small to medium sauce pan stir together water, cornstarch and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Once at a simmer, turn down heat and stir occasionally, 3 minutes. You want the rhubarb to be soft with some integrity, not mushy. The change happens quickly, so watch closely in the last minute of cooking. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberries and ginger.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (batter should be smooth).
  • Reserve 1/2 cup fruit mixture and add remaining to prepared baking dish. Pour batter over fruit, spreading evenly. Drizzle reserved fruit over top. Bake, rotating once, for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!
* So, I melted the butter and left it to cool while I measured out and prepared the rest of my ingredients. And, then I watched 30 Rock. By the time I got back to baking, the butter had started to solidify. To try to contain the enormous PILE of dishes that so frequently overtakes my kitchen, I melted the butter, poured it into the large stainless steel work bowl a la step 4 and proceeded to use the same sauce pan to cook down the rhubarb. All this to say, I had chunky butter that needed to loosen up a bit and I sure didn't want to create MORE dishes. Finally to the point...I ran hot water down the edges of the bowl, turning completely, until the butter warmed up and whisked smooth. (Placing the work bowl over hot water, in a water bath, would work too, but that would not harness the aforementioned pile.)

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