I’m sitting among a few miscellaneous unpacked boxes; everything is out of order and the smell of freshly painted walls still lingers in the air. We purchased our first house (we purchased a house!) and since last Friday, when we were handed the keys, we have done nothing else but pack-up, move, paint, organize, un-pack, rearrange, and in general become overwhelmed by the idea that we finally have a place that really feels at home and so much like us. As I’m typing this, I’m realizing this is the first moment I’ve truly had to just sit. It feels pretty good. There is so much still to do to our over 100 year old home, but for right now everything is settled just enough.
We hadn’t planned on getting the keys until this past Monday, so when the call came in Friday afternoon that we could pick them up, we zipped around as quickly as possible, packing everything we had planned to pack over the weekend. Friday night called for a celebration. I picked some of the first rhubarb from the garden (crossing my fingers they survived the move okay) and decided to make a simple rhubarb cake to bring over to have dinner with a couple friends. I had planned on making a soup recipe for the Food Matters Project too, that never happened, but luckily Jennifer made her version and we got a taste. It was delicious, I’ll need to make it on my own soon too.
This cake is simple and just the way I like it, not too sweet, a nice dense crumb and perfectly matched to the tartness of the rhubarb puree. I think many of the reasons people dislike rhubarb comes down to it’s texture. If you know someone who dislikes rhubarb I urge you to have them try it this way because it keeps that beautiful bright tartness without the texture that can sometimes be a turn off for some.
On top of all our house hunting and moving these past couple months, we’ve been working day and night on projects for our business. If you are fans of our work, we now have many new products in the shop and I’m so excited to finally be able to share them with you! Head to our Slide Sideways shop to see our new tote bags, zip pouches, posters, and cards. I hope to get in a bit of cooking between all the organizing going on around here, as well as getting our garden planted and I’ll share more with you when I get a chance. Until then enjoy this cake and have a great weekend.
Orange Scented Honey Rhubarb Swirl Cake / serves 9-12
I like to peel the outer skin of the rhubarb stalks for this recipe. Starting from the bottom, peel up an edge; it should come off in pretty little red ribbons. You will have extra sauce, but it’s nice to have around to add to yogurt or to top off a stack of pancakes.
1/2 lb. rhubarb cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about 3-4 stalks
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or water
2-4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 cups light spelt flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the rhubarb and water in a heavy bottom pot over medium-low heat. Bring to a low simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It may start to foam a little, this is normal. Once cooked down stir in the honey and orange zest, cook another 5 minutes over low heat. Remove sauce from heat, pour into a small bowl and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
Using the same pot used for the rhubarb sauce, melt the coconut oil and honey, until very runny. Remove from heat, beat in the egg. Pour in the milk and vanilla, stirring until everything is well combined. Pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture and stir just until everything is moistened.
Pour the batter into prepared pan smoothing out the top. Spot the top with about 1/2 the rhubarb sauce and use a knife to carefully swirl it in. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cake has puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.