Friday, July 25, 2014

Rhubarb Almond Cake with Orange Zest

Rhubarb takes center stage in this delicious cake. The orange pairs really nicely with all the flavors and the almond meal gives it moistness and a nutty, rich texture. It's dense and heavy, but in a good way. Another great way to showcase one of Alaska's most bountiful veggies (or fruits...depending on who you ask!) ~Patti
1 pound rhubarb, cleaned and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1-1/4 cups caster sugar *
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1-1/2 sticks) softened
finely grated orange zest and juice from 1 orange
2 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3 medium eggs
Handful sliced almonds
Powdered (confectioner's) sugar for dusting

Caster sugar is the British term for super fine granulated sugar. It dissolves very quickly because it's so fine. Perfect for certain recipes. I was able to find it at the local grocery store no problem - it is usually called "superfine" and not to be confused with confectioner's sugar, which is a powder.

Slice rhubarb and grate and juice your orange. You should get about a 1/4 cup juice from the orange.

Pour 1/4 cup sugar over rhubarb, stir, and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out the juices.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your pan (springform) with parchment and lightly grease with non stick spray or a bit of veggie or canola oil. In a large bowl, beat the rest of the sugar, butter, orange zest and orange juice with an electric mixer. Add the flour, baking powder, eggs, almond meal and beat again until smooth. Fold in the rhubarb with any juices using a spoon or spatula.

 Pour (or scoop) batter (it will be very thick) into prepared pan and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until the cake is golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I found I needed to cover with foil about 20 minutes into baking to prevent cake from getting too brown on top. Be sure to check it and cover if necessary.

Leave cake in pan for 15 minutes to cool when done, then remove from pan (this is where the springform comes in handy!) and remove parchment. Let cool completely on wire rack and dust with powdered sugar. YUM!

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