Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rhubarb and Carrot Olive Oil Cake

Like contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food, I grew up eating stewed rhubarb in the spring, and was even known to gnaw on a raw stalk once in awhile. In adulthood, chewing on the raw product has gone by the wayside, but having as much as I can is still a priority at this time of the year.

Every year when I see the first rhubarb at the farmers market I'm reminded again that I didn't plant some in my own garden. The one year I did remember, I was too late; I planted the crown in the fall and never saw it again (early spring is the time…I could've looked it up). Rhubarb is my favorite pie filling, and I grew up eating bowls of it simply stewed with sugar. These days I mostly roast it with olive oil, usually with either honey or cane syrup.

But I'm occasionally inspired to do more. After making Nigella Lawson's Venetian carrot cake and liking the unusual, not-too-sweet and very Italian dessert, I thought it would be a good vehicle for eating more rhubarb.

Grate a medium-sized carrot and put the results on a paper towel to soak up some of the liquid. Cut 6 to 7 stalks of rhubarb into half inch pieces (about 2 cups or so). I mixed together a half cup each of cane syrup and extra virgin olive oil (sorry Nigella, but if you don't use extra virgin olive oil you might as well use plain vegetable oil), then added 3 eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla, a shot of bourbon, and the zest and juice from a smallish lemon.

I stirred in about 2 cups of almond flour and added the grated carrot and sliced rhubarb. Parchment paper got cut into a circle to fit a 7-inch cast iron skillet (a cake pan or pie tin would be fine), and I drizzled a little more extra virgin over it to grease the pan. I poured in the thick batter, added a generous sprinkle of blanched, slivered almonds to the top, and baked it at 350° F for about 45 minutes. Nigella calls for a topping of mascarpone with powdered sugar and rum (or bourbon, for my version), but I like a little whipped cream with cane syrup and whiskey.

Rhubarb is also awesome in other desserts, made into syrup or mixed in a cocktail…check out these other fantastic rhubarb recipes!

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