Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I'm not sure anyone appreciates rhubarb the way the Scandinavians do. In the US, it seems like you rarely find rhubarb without strawberry to mellow it's tartness. But in Norway, rhubarb stands very much on its own. In fact, R remembers as a child being given stalks of raw rhubarb with a small bag of sugar for dipping and munching. This cake is not much more complicated than that.
You melt the butter, so there's no waiting for it to soften, and then you pretty much just beat the rest of the ingredients in with your trusty hand-held mixer. In fact, you could probably have this one on the table ready for eating in less than 45 minutes, and that's including the 30 to 35 minute bake-time. I love these simple snacking cakes, and my favorites always feature fruit. They're simple, true, but totally addicting as well. This one has only 1/2 a stick of butter, so it's not at all greasy, and the little slices of rhubarb on top kind of bursts in your mouth, full of the tartness of spring.
Norwegian Rhubarb Cake
Adopted from Norwegian National Recipes
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), melted
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large stalk rhubarb, enough for spreading on top
Grease a 9 inch round cake pan or springform pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the rhubarb into small pieces and set aside, discarding both ends of the stalk. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light, fluffy and a pale yellow. About 1 minute. Add the melted butter and the milk and beat until incorporated. Then add the flour and baking powder. Continue to beat until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Arrange the rhubarb slices on top of the batter and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling wrack. Serve and enjoy.
UPDATE: Don't cut your rhubarb too thin. You want good-sized chunks, maybe 1/2". You don't want them to disappear into the batter.