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Are you guys going to be mad at me because I made another almond/strawberry/rhubarb food item? I promise this one is different because it’s for dessert and has more butter. Yeah, now you’re on board. Go team.
To be totally honest, if you’re angry about this you should take it up with my mother because she adores strawberry rhubarb food items and I mostly make them so she’ll love me extra. Mom, is it working? I’m just trying to be better than my brother. (Aren’t we all?) The alternate plan for gaining my mother’s undying affection through pastry is oatmeal chocolate chip cookies WITH walnuts. Because she loves walnuts.
This is picnic cake. It takes well to travel and being wrapped roughly in paper towels and traveling a distance to be enjoyed on a kayak or sitting on a tree stump or while you’re walking or in a car on the way to your picnic spot because you don’t fee like sharing. I certainly won’t tell anyone. This is a safe space.
You could also make this cake into muffins and pretend that it is breakfast food. If you did that, you could easily give out those muffins to your friends. If I’m being truthful with myself and the Internet, I love breakfast more than any other meal. Given the choice, I think I would rather have family breakfast than family dinner. But only if, like, the entire group of people involved are unemployed alcoholics who can basically spend the whole day eating cake and drinking coffee and orange juice and champagne. Truly, what could be better?
On another, related note, is anyone tired of me talking about how much I like drinking coffee while surrounded by my friends, or of me talking about how much I enjoy being unemployed? In the realm of not very fun adult activities, this morning my roommate and I found a 6 pound bag of potatoes in the top shelf of our cabinet. The potatoes had rotted so much that the juices dripped down into my baking section. This sent us (her) on a four hour cleaning spree and total reorganization of our kitchen.
And so now, there’s none of this cake left and I think I’m going to have to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (with walnuts) and mess up the whole kitchen, all in the name of dessert. I hope you do the same in the name of this cake. Send me a picture or a slice.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB ALMOND CAKE
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 stick plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 lemon
- 10 oz ground almonds (about 2 and ½ cups)
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half
- 1 cup rhubarb, cut into 1 inch slices
for the cream:
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp confectioners sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a 9x9 inch pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a sling, so it hangs over 2 sides of the pan. Butter that as well.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside. Zest your lemon and add the zest to the sugar. Using your hands, rub the zest into the sugar until it is evenly distributed.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar mixture and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl so things mix together evenly. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy and white.
Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then the almonds.
Spread into your prepared pan. Place your strawberries and rhubarb in alternating rows. I like the visual effect of placing the fruit on top, but if you’re not bothered, you can just fold them into the cake. If you do this, I would use more strawberries, maybe 2 cups.
Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and a knife comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, whip together the mascarpone, heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar.
Let the cake cool about 15 minutes or fully before serving. Top with the whipped mascarpone cream.