I know it’s not necessarily a big deal to have baked a cake. Not normally, anyway. And especially when it’s not even a frosted masterpiece (or attempt). But I’ve been struggling with some sort of… something. We’ve narrowed it down to a viral sinus infection. And not only has it been uncomfortable, but the pressure has also messed with the vision in my left eye. So between the ache whenever I looked around, and not being able to see properly, baking (never mind blogging) hasn’t been on my radar.
Thankfully I took the advice of a few people, including an RN friend and the lovely and persistent @GFreeChelsey (who has an awesome gluten free blog – click here) and accepted the Neti pot-like bottle from my nurse practitioner and rinsed my sinuses out (I will not get into the details of that, beyond it being WEIRD). That was Friday. Hours later most of the discomfort was gone. I’ve done it twice more and remain largely pain free around the eye socket. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for my vision to clear up (I have had my eyes thoroughly checked and they are fine). Hence the lack of baking, blogging or even all that many photos in this post.
Long story short (get to the cake already!)
All that is to say that I’ve spent the last… almost two weeks trying to sort out what’s been wrong. And my spirits have been down. It’s been a bit scary, to be honest. Seeing the improvement that I have has made me feel almost normal again. And with that came the desire get into the kitchen and cook. And to use the rhubarb in my fridge.
I pulled out my recipe book. Not one of the many (many!) cookbooks that I have, but a tattered little journal, purchased before I was even married, wherein I’ve handwritten recipes which have either caught my attention or I have enjoyed (remember, pre-marriage, before there was any sort of decent computerized recipe storage). In it, I knew there was a recipe for rhubarb cake. A recipe graciously shared with me by the mother of a boy I was dating at the time (late 80’s here folks… still just a teen and I was collecting recipes). I’d had it at their house and it was the best thing I’d had with rhubarb besides my grandmother’s rhubarb custard pie, which I’ve never been able to recreate well.
The original recipe calls for buttermilk, half whole wheat flour and just cinnamon. Having tasted my additions/changes, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just one of those recipes that you can play with and it will still be great. I want to try it with raspberries next.
I know that some people like cardamom with rhubarb, but I’ve discovered that the almost orange spice flavour of coriander seed is magic with it. It’s subtle in this cake, but delicious. Try a little in some rhubarb compote, if you have any leftover stalks. It’s great on Greek yogurt!
For the cake
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C butter
1/2 C Greek yogurt mixed with
1/2 C milk
2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 1/2 C chopped rhubarb
1/3 C white sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 9×13 glass pan.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the egg, and then add the remaining ingredients, stirring the rhubarb in gently.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle it with the topping (don’t worry, it looks like a lot, but use it all. The crust it makes is worth it).
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre (and not into a piece of rhubarb) comes out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack.
This cake is amazingly moist, and keeps well for a few days.