Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters

July 9, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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roasted rhubarb with bitters

This is actually the third year in a row that I’ve made this Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters recipe. If you love rhubarb like I love rhubarb, then you’ll appreciate having it in the fridge to top yogurt, ice cream, plain cake, etc. And it’s hot pink– the best food color. Prettiness counts cuz we eat with our eyes first. Taste counts, too, of course, and this has that balance I like with rhubarb…sweet enough to enjoy it, but not enough to kill its natural tartness. A few dashes of bitters from the bar cart give it a barley there something else that has me plotting to use the syrup to make a beautiful pink cocktail when I’m done with the fruit (or err…vegetable).

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart

June 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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streusel-topped rhubarb lime tart

I look forward to a good rhubarb dessert every spring (now summer!), and this Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart fit the bill nicely. Dorie’s sweet tart dough and crisp streusel encase a a kinda tart filling of rhubarb, lime and custard. It all balances out nicely…soft, tart insides and crisp, sweet outsides. I made little individual tartlets and guessed the baking time would probably be less than for a full-sizer. I decided to use some roasted rhubarb compote instead of raw chopped rhubarb in my filling, just in case it wouldn’t have time to cook down fully. That was the only change I made. It was delicious, and I see more of these in my future.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake

May 26, 2015 at 7:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 24 Comments
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rhubarb upside-down brown sugar cake

I look forward to rhubarb in the spring just as much as I look forward to all the berries and stone fruit that will come our way in the summer.  It is one of my favorite things to bake with, so a Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake?  Yes, please!

This is, my opinion, better (and prettier) than the last rhubarb upside-down cake I made here.  The brown sugar in this BCM recipe is in the cake rather than in the fruit topping, which uses regular sugar that I guess you can caramelize to your desired shade of darkness.  I left mine pretty light, so it more or less just glazed the fruit and kept it from getting too brown.  My rhubarb stalks were more green than red, and I didn’t want to make my cake topping look too murky…I didn’t bother to string the stalks during prep either so I could keep whatever bits of red they did have.

The brown sugar cake is really soft and not to sweet.  The whole thing together hits the perfect sweet-tart balance…sometimes rhubarb desserts can be too sweet, and I like to be reminded of its snappiness!  Before making the rhubarb topping for the cake, Dorie has you macerate the cut pieces in some sugar for a bit.  This draws out some liquid from the rhubarb, which I suppose keeps the topping from being too wet when the cake bakes up.  Dorie says you can save that sugary rhubarb juice for homemade sodas, but I reduced it until it thickened a bit and then used it as my glaze (rather than jelly) to give the topping extra shine.

rhubarb upside-down brown sugar cake

Upside-down cake makes a great dessert with vanilla ice cream, and also a fabulous morning coffee cake with yogurt and some berries.  For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Raspberry-Rhubarb Crumble with Almonds

June 24, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Posted in cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, sweet things | 9 Comments
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raspberry-rhubarb crumble

Have you already moved on from rhubarb for the year?  I haven’t– it’s one of my absolute favorites, and I’m happy to pick up a pound from the Greenmarket every week till it disappears.  Right now, I’m in that glorious overlap moment when I can find rhubarb and raspberries at the same time.  Why is strawberry-rhubarb the combo that gets all the love?  Raspberry-rhubarb bakes up deliciously.  Raspberries are often less sweet than strawberries, but I’ve always liked to keep my rhubarb desserts on the tart side anyway.  And that hot pink color…I’d paint my whole house that color if it wouldn’t look like (ummm) questionable things might be going on inside.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m confused about the difference between a crumble and a crisp (I guess we didn’t cover that in pastry school), but I do know that they are both easier than pie- truly- and, I think, just as tasty.  Flipping through Tina Nordstrom’s charming latest book Tina Nordström’s Scandinavian Cooking, which is less a tome of traditional Scandinavian recipes and more a collection of tasty things from around the world she likes to cook in her Swedish kitchen, I saw a recipe for Raspberry Crumble with Almonds that I knew would work with the addition of rhubarb (and a bit of extra sugar).  The sweetness of the crumbly (and crisp!) topping balances the fruit nicely.  You can probably further tinker with the recipe quite successfully, if you’d like.  Swap the vanilla flavoring for cardamom, use oats instead of almonds, and so on.  The one thing I wouldn’t mess with, though, is the ball of ice cream on top.  That’s a given, at least at my house.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Crumble with Almonds- serves 6
adapted from Tina Nordström’s Scandinavian Cooking by Tina Nordström

Steph’s Notes:  The original recipe in the book is for a straight-up raspberry crumble.  If you want to make this without the rhubarb, use 500g raspberries (fresh or frozen) and cut back both the white sugar and the vanilla sugar in the fruit by half (leave the topping as-is).  If you don’t have vanilla sugar, replace with an equal amount of granulated sugar and a dash of vanilla extract.  I like to keep the fruit on the tart side, since the topping’s quite sweet, but if you know you’d like your rhubarb sweeter, add up to a couple of extra tablespoons of sugar to the fruit mixture.

for the crumb topping
3/4 cup, plus 1 1/2 tbsp (115 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (100 g) coarsely chopped or slivered almonds
1/2 cup (100 g)
 granulated sugar
pinch of salt
5 1/3 tbsp (75 g) unsalted butter, room temp

for the fruit mixture

about 1/2 lb (250 g) rhubarb, cut into 1″ lengths
about 1/2 lb (250 g) raspberries, fresh or frozen
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla sugar

-Start by making the crumb topping.  Combine all dry ingredients for the topping in a medium bowl, and use your fingers to mix it all together with the butter.  I like a combination of some clumps and some sandy crumbs.  Put the topping in the fridge or freezer while you preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

-For the filling, toss the rhubarb pieces, raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla sugar directly in the bottom of a greased ceramic or glass baking pan, 8-10″ in diameter (22-24 cm).

-Sprinkle the chilled topping evenly over the fruit mixture.  Bake until topping turns golden and juices are bubbling, about 35-40 minutes, turning at the halfway point.  If you notice that your topping is browning too quickly, turn the heat down to 350°F for the remainder of the baking time.

-Let cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes before serving.

Please note that the publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, sent me a copy of this book.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Fresh Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

May 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Posted in BWJ, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 16 Comments
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fresh rhubarb upside-down cake

Ummm…hello?  It’s been radio silent here on this blog for almost a month.  How embarrassing, but I just haven’t been baking much lately.  We went to the beach (and didn’t want to come back).  Then when we did come back, I was given what I can only assume was a punishment schedule at work for having taken (unpaid!) vacation time.  But, now I’m back in the game, and with rhubarb no less!

I tried really hard to find local rhubarb to make Johanne Killeen’s Fresh Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake.  I feel like it should be around these parts by now, but after striking out at three different farmers’ markets, I stopped wasting my time (and MetroCard swipes) and just got a few stalks from the grocery.

This recipe is intended to make several little baby cakes, but I just baked it off as one big mama in a cast iron skillet.  It wasn’t super goopy so it wasn’t too scary to flip out of the skillet.  Dark brown sugar gives this upside-down topping real character, and crème fraiche makes the cake batter extra tender.  I threw a splash of vanilla into the batter, too, which maybe wasn’t totally necessary since it wasn’t called for in the recipe…and since I had vanilla ice cream with it anyway…but whatevs.

I can see this also being a tasty base recipe for stone fruit or even mango upside-down cake.  For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan or read Erin’s When in Doubt…Leave it at 350.  It’s also here.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Rhubarb Cinnamon Polenta Cake

May 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, simple cakes, sweet things | 12 Comments
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rhubarb cinnamon polenta cake

May is a good time to be in New York City.  People are happy to be out and about.  It’s nice sleeping weather (our house doesn’t have A/C, so this is a big thing for me!).  And there’s finally more at the greenmarket than tired ol’ potatoes and apples.  About the same time I saw the first rhubarb here, my copy of Nigel Slater’s Tender, Volume 2 (called Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard in the US edition).  I knew he’d have some good rhubarby ideas for me…this guy has a London city garden that puts my weedy Brooklyn backyard to utter shame.  I’ll certainly never have a mini orchard like he does, but maybe one day I’ll have a couple of raised beds for a few homegrown herbs and things.  Until then, I’ll have to tote my seasonal fruit and veg home from the market.

Slater’s Rhubarb Cinnamon Polenta Cake would be just as good for breakfast as it is for dessert.  It’s made from more of a dough than a batter.  The cake is a little crunchy from the cornmeal and perfectly moist, but sturdy enough to support the layer of baked rhubarb that makes a pink stripe in the center.  I make a stove-top rhubarb compote a lot when it’s in season, but I kind of like the more hands-off baked method from this recipe, and I’d use it again even if it’s just for my morning granola.  The rhubarb more or less keeps its shape when handled this way and you get to pour off the gorgeously pink liquid it releases.  Even if I wasn’t going to serve it alongside the polenta cake, I wouldn’t think of pouring this down the drain.  Hello, homemade rhubarb sodas, cocktails, yogurt or ice cream drizzle…I could go on.

Rhubarb Cinnamon Polenta Cake– makes an 8-inch cake
adapted from Tender, Volume 2 by Nigel Slater

Note: Use a medium to coarse cornmeal/polenta for the best texture. The cake is fragile when warm, so it’s best to serve it cool, together with the reserved juices from the cooked rhubarb.

for the filling
500g rhubarb
50g sugar
4 tbsp water

for the cake
125g medium to coarse cornmeal/polenta
200g AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of ground cinnamon
150g sugar
grated zest of a small orange
150g butter
1 large egg
2-4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp demerara sugar

-Lightly butter am 8-inch (20-centimeter) loose-bottomed cake tin, preferably spring-form. Set the oven at  350°F (180°C/gas mark 4). Put in a baking sheet to get hot.

-While your oven is heating, trim the rhubarb, cut each stem into three or four pieces and put them in a baking dish. Scatter over the sugar, toss, and let everything sit until the oven is hot.  Sprinkle over the water and bake for about 30 minutes until the rhubarb is soft but still retains its shape.  Remove the fruit from the dish and put them in a colander to drain. Reserve the juice to serve with the cake.

-Put the cornmeal/polenta, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and caster sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add the grated zest and the butter, cut into smallish pieces, then blitz for a few seconds till you have something that resembles breadcrumbs. (You could also do this by hand, rubbing the butter into the polenta with your fingertips as if making pastry.) Break the egg into a small bowl and mix with the milk, then blend into the crumble mix, either with the food processor or by hand. Take care not to over-mix: stop as soon as the ingredients and liquid have come together to form a soft, slightly stickydough. If it isn’t sticky, add a little more liquid.

-Press about two-thirds of the mixture into the cake tin, pushing it a couple of centimetres up the sides with a floured spoon. Place the drained rhubarb on top, leaving a small rim around the edge uncovered. Crumble lumps of the remaining polenta mixture over the fruit with your fingertips, and don’t worry if the rhubarb isn’t all covered. Scatter over the demerara sugar. Bake on the hot baking sheet for 45-50 minutes, then cool a little before attempting to remove from the tin. Serve in slices with the reserved rhubarb juice.  You can wrap leftovers in plastic and refrigerate for a couple of days…just bring back to room temperature before serving.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Strawberry-Rhubarb Double Crisp

April 12, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 53 Comments
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strawberry-rhubarb double crisp

We’re in that weird in-between time of year when there really isn’t any good fruit here.  The rhubarb has still not made its long-awaited (for me anyway) appearance at my Greenmarket, and the leftover apples just look like they’ve been banging around in storage for the last few months.  This Strawberry-Rhubarb Double Crisp is so tasty that I wanted to make it again this past week before TWD posting, filled with whatever, but I couldn’t find any fruit that really spoke to me.  Luckily, I do have a crisp to show you…one that I made at the end of last May, when the rhubarb was still around and the strawberries were red through and through.  The combination made for an intensely colored and flavored fruit filling.

If you’d like to know what the heck a “double crisp” is, it’s a crisp with a topping AND a crust…so that makes it double good.  In addition to the usual suspects like oats and nuts, this crisp mix has a gingery zip to it, which I king of dug, but if it’s not your thing, simply leave it out.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on NPR’s site) or read Teapots and Cake Stands, as it was Sarah’s pick this week.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Almond-Rhubarb Snack Cake

June 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, simple cakes, sweet things | 12 Comments

almond-rhubarb snack cake

‘Tis the season for me to be churning out rhubarb compote by the buckful.  It really turns my morning granola into something extra-special, but I’m always looking for new things to make with rhubarb, too, and this Almond-Rhubarb Snack Cake is a prime example of how nice it is in baked goods.  Frankly, anything that calls itself a “snack cake” has my immediate attention.  Usually snack cakes are really easy to make and stay nice and moist for a solid few days. And I love the thought of snacking on cake, even if I am really desserting on it instead. 

This simple cake was just what I was hoping it would be– sweet and tart all at once.  The flaked almond topping is a nice touch…it gives a good crunch, but you could certainly skip it if you’d rather forgo the extra sugar.  Be sure to cut the rhubarb into the nice, thin slices recommended.  It cooks quickly and evenly that way, and gives the cake almost puddingy soft insides.

Almond-Rhubarb Snack Cake– makes one 9-inch round cake
adapted from Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker

Steph’s Note: A half recipe bakes up nicely in a loaf pan.  Just be sure to start checking it 10-15 minutes early, as it will take less time to bake.

For the Cake
1 ¾ cup (7 oz/200g) cake flour
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
1/8 t baking powder
4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 oz/200g) granulated sugar
½ t pure almond extract
½ t pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup (6 fl oz/180ml) well-shaken buttermilk
4 ½ oz narrow rhubarb stalks (about 3), trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch  thick slices, to yield 1 cup packed
½ cup natural or blanched sliced almonds

For the Almond Topping
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T all-purpose flour
1 T heavy cream
½ cup (2 ¼ oz/65g) granulated sugar
½ cup (1 oz/30g) natural or blanched sliced almonds

 -Before baking, centre a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan with 2 3/4- or 3-inch sides. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

-To make the cake: Have all ingredients at room temperature. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Add sugar in steady stream, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on medium speed until mixture is very light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Add the extracts during the final moments of mixing.

-With mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, about 3 T at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When mixture is fluffy, reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions alternately with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition only until incorporated. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of the bowl after each addition. Fold in the rhubarb slices and almonds with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly with the spatula.

-Bake the cake until a round wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out free of cake batter, 40-45 minutes.

-About 15 minutes before the cake is ready, begin making the Almond Topping: In a small saucepan, mix together the butter, flour, cream, and sugar and stir over low heat just until blended.

-About 10 minutes before the cake is ready, remove the cake from the oven, pour the topping mixture over it and sprinkle the almonds over the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the topping spreads over the cake and just begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.

-Slowly release the springform clasp and carefully remove the pan sides. Let the cake cool on its base on the rack for 10 minutes longer. Then invert a wire rack on top of the cake, invert the cake onto it, and carefully lift off the base. Slowly peel off the parchment liner, turn it over so that the sticky side   faces up, and reposition it on top of the cake. Invert another rack on top, invert the cake so it is right side up, and remove the original rack. Let cool completely.

-Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges with a sharp knife. Cover any leftover cake with aluminum foil and store at cool room temperature for up to 2 days.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

July 22, 2008 at 5:55 am | Posted in cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 49 Comments

cherry rhubarb cobbler

After a quick chocolate fix last week, TWD’s summer fruit theme picks right back up, with Amanda’s (from Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake) selection of Dorie’s Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler.  Interestingly (and luckily), rhubarb doesn’t seem to have a season here, and I can find it all year-round at the growers’ markets.  Fresh cherries, however, are out in force at Christmastime and pretty much non-existent right now…so this, my friends, is when I must turn to the glorious bounty of the frozen food aisle if I wanna keep up.  Armed with a bunch of fresh rhubarb and a box of frozen sweet cherries, I thought I was all set to take this cobbler on.

Then d’oh!  I did hit a snag when I saw that the cobbler topping includes whole wheat flour.  Just before we moved into this new apartment, I used up the last of my whole wheat in a pizza crust.  For reasons I’ll get into later when things become more definite, I’ve been hoping to avoid buying any new ingredients that I can’t easily use up in a few months time.  I definitely wanted to include the whole wheat component, as it’s something unique from the other Dorie cobbler we’ve baked, so I decided to make a “homemade” version rather than buy another big bag.  No, I didn’t go out back to the grist mill and grind my own (that thing’s been broken since the mid-1800’s– ha!)…I just subbed half AP flour and half wheat germ, which I did have already, for the amount of whole wheat.

cherry rhubarb cobbler

There were a couple of things I really liked about this cobbler: the cute little rounds of wheaten topping (which I’ll use again, for sure), and the kick from the ground ginger in both the topping and the filling.  There was something about the fruit itself that I wasn’t so crazy about, and it had to do with the cherries.  Maybe I’m just used to sour cherries in cobblers and pies, and don’t care for baked sweet cherries.  Or maybe it’s simply that fresh cherries would have been better than frozen.  Who knows?  I don’t, but maybe I can compare when fresh cherries are in season.

cherry rhubarb cobbler

Look in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Amanda’s post to find the recipe.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll to see what over 200 other people had to say!

Cupcake Hero: Rhubarb-Filled Yogurt Cupcakes for Mother Earth

April 30, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Posted in cupcakes, events, sweet things | 28 Comments

rhubarb-filled yogurt cupcakes

Kermit the Frog summed it up best when he sang, “It’s not easy being green.”  I tell ya, you want to buy organic products, but they’re nowhere near local.  You take your own tote bags to the grocery store, but you still have to practically wrestle the plastic ones out the the cashier’s hands.  You try to recycle as much as possible, but then your neighbor throws her baby’s dirty diapers into the plastics recycling bin (nice!).  And it’s expensive, even more so in Sydney than in New York.  You should see the amount of cazash I plonk down at the growers’ markets here ($27 for an organic chicken last week!), and the enviro-friendly cleaning products cost a small fortune.

What’s a little frog to do?  The best she can, I guess.  I’m happy to see that a lot of bloggers have gone green during April to celebrate Earth Day.  These may not be the most kid-friendly cupcakes, but I wanted to make something earthy, delicious and maybe even slightly healthy for Cupcake Hero‘s own celebration of the planet.  We all know that cupcakes make the world go ’round! 

These should be called “rhubarb-filled yogurt cupcakes with lemon butter icing and pistachios,” but that’s a little long, don’t cha think?  To make these, I used as many organic and/or local products I could.  The exceptions are the baking powder and baking soda (which I think exist in organic form, but I couldn’t find them at the health food store) and the icing sugar (which although not organic, and certainly not local, is unrefined).  The pistachios, lemon and rhubarb came from a local farmers’ market, and everything else from either the regular grocery store (which stocks a good range of organics) or the health food store.  None of these items even required a car ride…all were picked up within reasonable walking distance from my place.   And, while I am the first to admit that my giant collection of cupcake papers borders on the crazy, in efforts to make as little waste as possible, I baked these au naturel .

rhubarb-filled yogurt cupcakes

The cupcakes are delicious, moist and not too sweet.  Their brown color comes from Alter Eco’s organic ground cane sugar.  This is more like a soft brown sugar than a white granulated one.  The cupcakes domed a bit in the oven, which at first had me a little peeved, but then I used it to my advantage, as they appear to have a huge mound of frosting on top, but really the amount is quite modest. My favorite part is hidden inside–the rhubarb compote, which you can modify according to your own sweetness preference.  I made a big bunch, because whatever doesn’t get used in the cupcakes is amazing on top of oatmeal or with granola and yogurt.  The icing is so simple, and it is great with the rhubarb.  The refined icing sugar (I used Billington’s) is less harshly sweet, if you know what I mean, than regular powdered sugar and it is and a beautiful ivory color…I should always use this stuff.

rhubarb-filled yogurt cupcakes

Rhubarb-Filled Yogurt Cupcakes makes 6 regular-size cupcakes

-Start by making and chilling the rhubarb compote (process below).

-Bake and cool the yogurt cupcakes (recipe below).

-If your pistachios have papery skins on them, blanche them for a minute in boiling water.  Drain them, and once cool enough to handle, slip off the skins.  Chop them roughly.

-Make the lemon butter icing.

-To fill the cooled cupcakes, use a small knife or round cookie cutter to cut a plug out of the center of each (going in from the top).  Save the top bit of each plug.  Fill each cavity with rhubarb compote.  Cover with the top bit so the filling is not exposed.

-Top with the icing and sprinkle on the chopped pistachios.

Rhubarb Compote
Note:  This is more of a process than a recipe, and can be adjusted depending upon the amount of rhubarb you have and how sweet you would like it to be.  I’d use at least 6 stalks, and any leftover compote is great on oatmeal or with yogurt.

-Trim off the tops and bottoms of each stalk of rhubarb.  Use a pairing knife to peel away any strings. Cut into 1-inch pieces. 

-Weigh the cut rhubarb.  Measure out sugar equal to 1/4 to 1/3 of the weight of the rhubarb, depending on how sweet you’d like it.  If you don’t have a scale, you can eyeball or use cup measurements.

-Put rhubarb pieces and sugar into a heavy-bottomed pot.  Add a small splash of water (just to keep the rhubarb from burning) and place over medium heat.  Stir frequently to keep from sticking to the bottom.

-Simmer for several minutes until the rhubarb releases its juice and the sugar is dissolved.  The rhubarb will soften and break down and the liquid should be reduced (although if you have an excessive amount, you can tip it out).  All this will probably take about 10 minutes, unless you are working with a very large quantity.

-Transfer to a container and chill.  This will keep for a week or two.

Yogurt Cupcakes makes 6 regular-sized cupcakes
heavily modified from The 1997 Joy of Cooking

Note: I used salted butter in this recipe, as it is the only organic kind sold here (therefore, there is no added salt in the ingredients list).  If you are using unsalted butter, add a 1/4 t salt in with the dry ingredients.

1 c sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
2 1/2 T salted butter, room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1/2 egg (break egg into a cup, whisk it and pour out half)
1 egg white
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c plain yogurt (full or nonfat), cool room temperature

 -Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and spray and flour six cavities of a muffin tin (or line with six paper cups). 

-Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.

-Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until light in color and texture.  (The amount was too small for my stand mixer, so I did it by hand.  Handheld electric beaters would also work well.)

-Whisk together the 1/2 egg, egg white and vanilla.  Gradually beat into the butter/sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.

-Add the dry ingredients and yogurt in three parts, alternating and beating smooth after each addition. 

-Divide the batter in the tin, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the tins for a few minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  

Lemon Butter Icing makes enough to generously frost 6 cupcakes
adapted from Everyday by Bill Granger

4 T butter (salted or unsalted), room temperature
3 3/4 oz powdered sugar, sifted
2 t lemon zest (finely grated)
2t lemon juice

-Beat the butter until very soft and white.  Beat in the powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice.  (You can adjust consistency with either extra powdered sugar or lemon juice.)

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