Got Rhubarb on My Mind

20130527-085154.jpgI recently wrote a guest blog for Full Circle Farm where I included a drink using rhubarb syrup. The color of the rhubarb syrup against grapefruit juice made for a stunning visual, and the flavors mingled nicely. I still wanted to pop the rhubarb flavors up a bit so got some more to play with. Then I got lazy and started thinking about this cake I had a couple of years ago in Belleville, Pennsylvania. We were at an Amish market, complete with cattle auction, and had a hearty, down-home lunch above the barn. I ordered their rhubarb cake and was in heaven. It was a simple white cake with a layer of creamy rhubarb on the bottom. The tartness of the rhubarb offset the richness of the cream. At the time, it was a “new taste combination” and a reminder about how much I loved rhubarb.

You probably know what a food craving is like. It starts with a little niggle and builds into a frenzy if you don’t satisfy it. I have been thinking about this cake off and on for about four years now, so I figured it was time to do some googling. I found a few recipes that seemed like they would fill the craving if not match the memory. Of course, none of them were vegan. *sighs*

I pulled out my favorite author’s cupcake book,Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule, and found a basic white cake recipe. I revised it for an 11×13 pan size, added a few tweaks and came up with a passable craving stomper. It doesn’t match my memory in every way, but I don’t think anything short of going to Pennsylvania will do that.

Rhubarb Cream Cake

4 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
3 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
2 cups soy or almond milk
2 tsp powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup almond or safflower oil
4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup “cream” (I used Silk soy creamer)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare an 11x 13 pan with a nonstick spray. Use a whisk to blend dry ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold wet and dry. In another bowl, whisk the one cup of sugar, milk, oil and vanilla together until blended. Add to dry ingredients and mix until there are no lumps. Pour batter into the pan. Layer the rhubarb over the batter. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup sugar over the rhubarb and pour the cream in around the rhubarb. Bake for 40 minutes or until done.

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