It seems like with everywhere I look lately rhubarb is the thing to cook with and eat. I know that it is rhubarb season but not until this year do I feel like it is trying to brainwash me to eat it.
I have never actually had rhubarb, surprising for living in the South! I think it is an ingredient from an alien planet! It looks like celery, but it is pink and people put it in desserts. If it was like celery than it would be in a savory dish right? Also, I have heard that it is poisonous if eaten raw. Well rest assured, I did some research and only the leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous. Still…I was skeptical!
I decided to take the plunge and make a Rhubarb Pie. Well, friends and family told me that it was going to be incredibly tart and that they hated eating it as a kid. You could imagine that I was just filled with enthusiasm now! I did not have many positive vibes for the stuff at this point. Be adventurous right?
I decided last-minute not to make a rhubarb pie, but rather a Rhubarb Snacking Cake. I thought to myself ‘I want to make a dessert with rhubarb but if the stuff is that tart maybe I should take baby steps trying it. A pie has no other flavors to mask the pucker you will experience, but a cake will absorb the flavors and add more to it. Voila, rhubarb success.’
To make the Rhubarb Snacking Cake (coffee-cake really) I chopped the beautiful pink fruit-vegetable hybrid and tossed in plenty of sugar with a hint of lemon juice and lemon zest. The syrupy rhubarb was then laid atop a silky sour cream cake batter. Yum! This was the first time I had made a sour cream cake batter. I don’t know why I didn’t discover sour cream in dessert sooner. The cake is tangy and more moist than a traditional cake recipe. So let’s see: tangy cake, bitter and tart rhubarb, and lots and lots of sugar. Ha!
Don’t be skeptical!
Most of the new foods that I have tried over the years have become some of my favorites, even those that use to scare me away. I am so glad I tried rhubarb and that I made this cake, it was wonderful. Leftovers the next day with a cup of coffee weren’t bad either. Be adventurous and try new things because you have no idea what you are missing out on in life. Even kids enjoyed my tangy rhubarb concoction.
(For the complete recipe visit the fabulous Smitten Kitchen.)