Tiny rhubarb shoots that look like foreign weeds are a welcome spring occurrence. As one of the first plants to emerge from the dull thawing earth, rhubarb embraces the change of season with vigor.
Shed the palm-like poisonous, non-edible leaves and the remaining rhubarb stalks offer a range of eating possibilities. Capped with wicked wrinkled celery like foliage, the tiny baby trunks are tender and sweet enough to eat raw right out of the ground. The tangy snap and acidic near lemon quality of this versatile vegetable is a cornerstone ingredient for many homemade desserts.
The Spring Meaning Of Rhubarb
During the brief interlude of a Minnesota spring, rhubarb comes in just about every form of dessert. Spring just would not be spring without rhubarb pie, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb custard, rhubarb cake, rhubarb bars, rhubarb cookies, rhubarb ice cream and rhubarb sauce to go over it all. During springs present and past, I have savored them all.
Minnesotans go crazy over rhubarb. It’s hard not to get caught up into the rhubarb bliss of spring.
Easy-Going Rhubarb And Hazelnut Cake
Since carefree home baking is the only kind I will undertake these days, a rhubarb recipe must be above all other things easy-to-prepare. Rhubarb and hazelnut cake not only meets this crucial requirement but also has a pleasant tart zing from the rhubarb.
This no-fuss dessert made from basic kitchen-staple ingredients tastes delicious served warm or cold. Of course, rhubarb and hazelnut cake is even better topped with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
Rhubarb and Hazelnut Cake½ cup hazelnuts, finely ground 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup butter ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar, packed 1 egg ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup sour cream ½ cup buttermilk 1 ½ cups rhubarb, cut into finely chopped pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Grind hazelnuts in a food processor or finely chop them down to a crumb size if no food processor is available.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in hazelnuts. Cream butter with a mixer, gradually adding granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy.
Beat in egg and vanilla until combined and light in color. In a few turns, fold in flour and hazelnut mixture alternating with sour cream and buttermilk. Stir in rhubarb but not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes.