04 September 2015

Rye & Rhubarb Cake

Who doesn't love cake?!  Actually, I often don't love cake, because it's dry and boring, and basically a mouthful of white flour and sugar.  This recipe caught my attention because the rye sounded substantial, but the rhubarb compote promised to keep it moist. I couldn't resist adding some cardamom to the batter, because, well, cardamom.  And when my compote turned out too thin (see below), I just strained the rest off and kept it as a rhubarb simple syrup for drinks.  

This adaptation started its life in Bon Apetit magazine involving chocolate, was transformed by the rye on Food 52, and has been slightly Swedish-ized by me, below. (PS--This cake is totally appropriate for breakfast.)

Rye & Rhubarb Cake adapted from Food 52

For the rhubarb compote:

1pound rhubarb (about 4 large stalks), roughly chopped into small pieces (about 1/4-inch big)
1 cup brown sugar
1cup white wine
Zest of 1 orange
1cup golden raisins

For the cake:
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (3 5/8 ounces) rye flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Juice from 1/2 an orange, plus enough milk to equal 1 cup total of liquid

Make the compote: combine all of the compote ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb has mostly broken down, the raisins are fat, and most of the liquid has absorbed. This can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes (or more) depending on heat of your burner and your impatience. If your mixture starts to get dry, add a small amount of water. When the compote is finished, set it aside and make the cake batter.

If your compote looks liquidy but has been cooking forever, put it through a fine mesh strainer or a colander with small holes to separate any excess liquid. Use the excess liquid as a rhubarb simple syrup, which keeps well in a jar in the refrigerator for weeks, and goes well with 2 oz. gin (+ club soda + lime wedge).

Preheat the oven to 350° F and butter an 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour through salt.

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or creaming vigorously with a wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the almond extract and mix to incorporate.
With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Once it is just incorporated, add 1/2 of the orange juice and milk mixture. Add another 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk, and then the last of the flour. Mix just to combine.

Use a spatula to transfer the batter to the pan. Spoon the compote over top of the batter, then swirl it in, leaving some big compote clumps.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack, then turn it out onto a plate and then invert it once more.