rhubarb sheet cake

Soooo, I don’t know about you but we needed to catch up on sunshine, lounging on deck chairs & sipping cocktails and believe me, after one of these there is no way to write a straight sentence. What ever weather the weekend will bring, let there be cake:

rhubarb sheet cake

Pink rhubarb tumbled on top of a buttery vanilla cake batter and sprinkled with sugar to caramelize make for a wonderfully simple & tasty rhubarb sheet cake. It provides an ideal treatment for the sharp rhubarb of the early season – just admonish a little more sugar to mellow the astringency or counter the tartness with sweet whipped cream with vanilla (yum). This sheet cake is quickly thrown together and great fare for a gathering of friends & family at the weekend and it travels well for a picnic outside. If you have a beach close by, have fun – I am jealous. Extra bonus points for freezing well, too: I have just packed a few slices into the freezer for a rainy day, the in-laws upcoming visit or when a neighbour drops in around 4 o’ clock for a cup of coffee & a piece of cake.

rhubarb sheet cake

This is a proper Grandmother-approved-recipe (my cousin got it from a former fiancé’s Grandma), very well & thoroughly tested every year by my cousin & me with the tartest & pinkest of rhubarb your Mum sends you over… and it is my favourite rhubarb cake. The batter is basically the mixture for a quattre-quarts or pound cake, spread onto a baking sheet, covered with a lot of rhubarb pieces who in turn will sink into the batter and transform into pockets of tart rhubarb throughout the sweet cake. It may seem that there is ways too much “fruit” (actually rhubarb is a vegetable) to be arranged in a neat & orderly fashion or for it to even fit onto the sheet & that this greedy amount might turn the cake soggy. None of the sort will happen but you should bake the cake for (most of) the allocated time. If a corner or the outer edges turn brown or even darker, just remember that they can easily be trimmed – all in the name of cake square perfection, of course.

Deutsches Rezept am Ende!

 


 

Rhubarb sheet cake

makes 16 pieces

Note on pan sizes & material: this recipe is geared towards a European-sized deep & heavy metal baking sheet called a Fettpfanne in the oven manual (31 x 38 x 3cm). Use ¾ of the recipe for slightly smaller American baking sheets or use a 10 x 13 inch pan, a smaller one will result in a somewhat thicker cake layer which is not necessarily a bad thing though might influence the baking time. I am not sure about other materials: the cake might work in a glas dish and you’ll have a chance to check the bottom though I would not try a ceramic dish.

250g (8.8oz; a little more than 2 sticks) butter, unsalted & soft
250g (8.8oz) sugar (165g + 85g)
250g (8.8oz) plain flour
4 eggs, separated
7.5g or 1.5 tsp baking powder (1/2 packet)
Vanilla essence or 2 heaped tablespoons of vanilla sugar
7 rhubarb sticks, cut into 1 inch pieces (roughly 900g or 2 lbs)
sugar (2-3 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F & line a sheet with baking parchment.
Cream butter and 2/3 of the sugar (165g), incorporate the egg yolks and quickly stir in the sifted flour & baking powder. Beat the egg whites together with the last 1/3 of the sugar (85g) until they form stiff peaks, fold into the dough: stir in first only a little amount to loosen the mass, then swiftly fold in with only a few movements.
Spread the batter onto your chosen baking sheet or into pans, loose cover the top with the rhubarb pieces and sprinkle with sugar (roughly 2 tablespoons, to taste). Bake for 40 minutes (turn the sheet around after half-time) in the middle of the oven until golden brown. Cool and trim (extra) brown edges or sides before serving.

 

Rhabarberkuchen

Für 16 Stücke

250g weiche Butter
250g Zucker (165 + 85g)
250g Mehl
4 Eier, getrennt
½ Paket Backpulver (7g)
Vanillezucker (2 EL oder 2 Pakete) oder Vanille-Essenz (auf keinen Fall Aroma oder künstliches Zeug)
7 Stangen Rhabarber (ca. 900g), in 2-3cm große Stücke geschnitten
Zucker (2-3 EL)

Den Backofen auf 200°C vorheizen (180°C Umluft) und ein tiefes Backblech oder die Fettpfanne mit Backpapier auskleiden.
Die Butter schaumig rühren, dann zwei Drittel des Zuckers + Vanillezucker oder Vanille Essenz hinzugeben und nach und nach die Eigelbe unterrühren. Mehl zusammen mit dem Backpulver vermischen und über den Teig sieben, nur noch kurz verrühren bis ein Teig entstanden ist. Eiweiße mit dem letzten Drittel Zucker steif schlagen und vorsichtig unterheben. Dünn auf dem Bleck ausstreichen und mit den in Stücken geschnittenen Rhabarber belegen und anschließend mit Zucker bestreuen. In der Mitte des Backofens für ca. 40 Minuten backen, eventuell nach der Hälfte der Zeit das Blech umdrehen (wenn an einer Seite oder einer Ecke weniger Teig ist und diese dunkler oder sehr dunkel werden: einfach hinterher beschneiden), dann auskühlen lassen und aufteilen.

 

 

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