I really love rhubarb. Just so so much. And it’s spring and I’ve been in a rhubarb kind of mood lately.
When I’m at home on my days off, basically all I think about is baking. What can I make? And then I try to think of something cool that I’ve never done before, and then usually resort to just making a cake or cookies or something easy and satisfying that results in instant gratification.
Yesterday, however, I decided I would actually go ahead this time and make something different. How about a plated dessert? If you followed this blog while I was in school, you’ll know that I suck at plated desserts. Or at least I really used to. I’m not saying I’m good now, but I’m much more confident in my abilities to produce something that is really tasty and looks nice too. I definitely still have a lot to learn.
I admit, I used frozen rhubarb from my garden last year because I went to three stores and not one had it…don’t judge me. It was mostly green looking stalks so I didn’t get a super nice pink colour out of it but I will just have to do this again once the rhubarb in the backyard is ready, right? Right!
The components I made are an almond cake, rhubarb curd, honey almond croquant and almond milk ice cream.
The almond cake is really nice. Super moist and tender, but a bit dense. I think next time for a plated dessert I would try to make it a little lighter by whipping the whites separately and folding them in. If you just want a nice little slice of cake for tea then the way it is more than perfect. And highly addicting.
110 grams unsalted soft butter
120 grams sugar
90 grams almond flour
40 grams all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod, split and seeded
1 T milk
chopped or slivered almonds for the top
Preheat your oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment. This is why this cake is great: Throw everything in a bowl and beat until it comes together. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle with almonds and bake for 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
3/4 lb of rhubarb, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 t lemon zest
1 T lemon juice
In a pot, combine the rhubarb with the first amount of sugar and just a splash of water. Cook over medium-low heat until the rhubarb is tender. Puree this and then pass through a fine mesh sieve (I skipped this step and kind of wish I didn’t.).
In a bowl combine everything together and heat over a double boiler gently whisking until it thickens. Remove from heat. Allow to cool.
Honey Almond Croquant
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
Place the honey, sugar, and about a tablespoon of water in a pot over medium heat and cook, without stirring, to 340F. Stir in the almonds, pour onto a silicon mat and allow to cool and harden. Once it’s ready, break it up and in either a blender or a food processer chop it up until the consistency you want. Keep in an airtight container with a dessicant.
Almond Milk Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
9 oz sugar (I find this to be a little sweet, I think reducing the sugar amount is a good idea)
Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a bowl. In a pot heat the cream and almond milk until hot. Temper in the yolks. Cook until it coats the back of a spoon or until 85 degrees celsius. Allow this mixture to chill in the fridge and mature over night. The following day, spin in an ice cream maker. Transfer to a container and freeze.
I mixed some buttermilk into the rhubarb curd for the swipe on the plate (and could eat that for every meal of my life, so good), and set some curd with gelatin for the top of the cake. Yummy.