Speaking of rhubarb, I think we people broadly fall into two groups. The ones who love rhubarb and the ones who are unfamiliar with rhubarb. I belonged to the second category until a couple of years ago but now I am very much in the first one. I love Rhubarb! I am always drawn to it’s beautiful colour…specifically the pink stains it leaves on baked goods and of course it’s juicy, tart flavor. When balanced out with right amount of sweetness in a recipe, it can do wonders to the dish. Fortunately, I have had success every time I’ve cooked/baked with it so I was able to dream up a three layered rhubarb cake.
The rhubarb cake by itself is not too sweet so it makes a great pairing with buttercream. The rosemary snugly fits into the recipe lending a subtle earthy touch which is quite refreshing. When I went to my favourite fruit market looking for inspiration, I was torn between rhubarb and pomegranate. I wanted to bake cakes with both. Fresh produce markets always seem to have that effect on me. Then instead I combined the two. If you like both Rhubarb and Pomegranate, this cake is recommended. If you are a fan of one of them, then this is a must-try because you never know, you may fall in love with the other one as well. It might seem like an unusual combination but trust me, they pair well here. Colour, texture and taste!
The rhubarb cake is dense (but not heavy) like a typical sour cream cake. You will surely taste the rhubarb and the rosemary but the pomegranate flavour is not too strong. The fresh pomegranate on top does give the cake a nice crunchy bite whilst making it look like a pomegranate cake. Frost the cake the way you like. The frosting is again a Swiss meringue buttercream which is what I generally use for my cakes…light, fluffy and not overly sweet.
I’ve had a really busy week and have barely been able to keep up to my posting frequency. I hope this cake makes up for my absence:-)
So tell me dear friends, do you fall into one of those groups? Do you think there could be a third group..not liking rhubarb?
Rhubarb Cake With Pomegranate And Rosemary Buttercream
Three-Layered Rhubarb Cake
90 g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
11/2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
450 g 400 g
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Lightly grease 3, 19 cm round pans and line the bases with baking paper.
Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in sifted dry ingredients and cream in two batches. Fold in rhubarb. Divide mixture among prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cakes come out clean. Remove cakes from pans after 10 minutes and cool on wire rack.
Pomegranate And Rosemary Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate juice (made by running the seeds through a food processor and straining)
1 sprig rosemary
4 egg whites
1 cup castor sugar
300 g unsalted butter, room temperature
1-2 drops, pink food coloring (optional)
Over medium heat in a saucepan, simmer the pomegranate juice along with the sprig of rosemary until it is thick and reduced to approx 2 tablespoons. Remove the rosemary sprig and keep the juice aside to cool down completely.
Place the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl that is placed over a saucepan of simmering water (over low heat), and whisk continuously, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the bottom of the bowl is warm to touch
Remove the bowl from the heat and whip on high speed until meringue holds stiff peaks and looks glossy. The bowl should have completely cooled by now.
Add the butter, 2 tablespoon at a time, until thick and fluffy. If it begins to look curdled, continue to whip until it comes back together, before adding in remaining butter.
When the buttercream has come together, add the reduced pomegranate-rosemary juice and mix in till smooth and well blended. Add the pink food coloring (if using) and mix till you get the desired shade.
To assemble : Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or plate. With a large round nozzle, pipe buttercream kisses all over the cake. Place the second layer and repeat. Repeat with the third layer leaving room in the centre to place fresh pomegranate seeds. Decorate with fresh sprigs of rosemary.