Rhubarb Meringue Cake

It’s rhubarb season and this year rhubarb in my garden has been growing like crazy! Over the weekend I picked five stalks, two of which weighed almost a pound. I was searching for a good rhubarb dessert recipe and finally decided to go with this one, which I adapted from a German website.IMG_0936FullSizeRender

I love rhubarb, but because of its tartness I often pair it up with strawberries. Other recipes with rhubarb only, seem to call for a huge amount of sugar, which I try to avoid as often as possible. This cake, even though with rhubarb only, has a perfect balance of tart in the sponge part and then sweet in the meringue top. It tastes heavenly and I will be making it again this rhubarb season.

I tried to go a little fancy with piping the meringue on the top, but it can be just simply spread over the cake. If you choose to do the piping, I’d suggest to add one more egg white because I ran out of it (one corner of the cake didn’t have meringue on, but I was embarrassed to show it… :D)

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Rhubarb Meringue Cake

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:
• 800 g (1 ¾ lb)Rhubarb
• 1 TBSP sugar
• 125 g (4.4 oz) Sugar
• 125 g (4.4 oz) Butter (room temperature)
• 1 Pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
• 1/2 Lemon (zest only)
• 1 Pinch of salt
• 3 Large eggs (divided)
• Sugar*** (for meringue – see step 6.)
• 1 Whole egg
• 100 g (3.5 oz) Corn starch
• 100 g (3.5 oz) All-purpose flour
• 2 tsp Baking powder
• 2–3 TBSP Milk
Preparation:
1. Wash and dry rhubarb stalks and cut into ½ inch pieces. Sprinkle with 1 TBSP sugar and set aside in a bowl.
2. Divide eggs and place the egg whites in the fridge.
3. Place butter in a mixer bowl, add sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon zest and mix until fluffy, then add 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg and mix until is all well incorporated.
4. In another bowl combine flour, corn starch and baking powder and mix well. Start adding it to the egg mixture alternating with milk. The batter will turn out really nice and creamy.
5. Prepare a 13 X 9 inch baking pan. Brush the sides with butter and place parchment paper on the bottom. Place the batter into the pan, spreading evenly. Now place the rhubarb on the top. Bake at 395 F (200 C) for about 25 minutes.

Rhubarb Meringue Cake
6. While cake is baking take the egg whites out of the fridge and weigh them. The weight of your egg whites will determine the quantity of sugar you will need. (My egg whites weighed 108 grams, so I measured 108 g sugar for my meringue). I learned that by using the same quantity of egg whites and sugar I get the best meringue.

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7. Beat the egg whites on high gradually adding sugar for about 3-4 minutes or until soft peaks form. If you turn your bowl upside down they will stay in place.
Meringue

8. When cake is done, take it briefly out of the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 250 F (120 C). Spread or pipe the meringue on the cake and bake it for another 20-25 minutes.
9. Let it cool and serve.

ENJOY! 🙂

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Poppy Seed Challah

The month of March was just not very productive for me in any segment of my life… After shredding a part of my finger early in the month, I didn’t have much desire to cook, bake or type. Lack of sunshine and warmth took its toll… I was so hoping for spring to come and all we got was snow and bitter cold. As I write this it’s still cold out, but the sun is shining, the trees and flowers are budding and it makes such a difference. I also took a few days off from work to spend with my family and to do the things I love – bake and paint.

Poppy seed challah

I really missed getting my hands sticky with dough and having the aroma of fresh baked goods around the house. All I could think of was to bake something good, warm and familiar and nothing sounded better than this challah bread topped with poppy seeds. Every bakery in Bosnia sells this bread. Their sizes range anywhere from a small knot, to an individual size challah to a large family challah. For me, it is an essential part of a good breakfast! It can be eaten just plain or spread with butter, jam, honey, paté or anything you may like. It can be used for a sandwich or for the bread pudding. It looks great on a holiday table!

I painted this while taking a break from baking
I painted this while taking a break from baking

Poppy Seed Challah

{print recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour (+ flour for kneading)
  • 21 g (0.7 oz) fresh yeast
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup + 2 TBSP) warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml (about 1/4 cup) sunflower or vegetable oil
  • ½ TBSP salt
  • Milk for brushing
  • 2 TSBP poppy seeds

Preparation:

  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Make a deep indent in flour, add 1 TBSP of sugar and crumble up the yeast. Lightly mixing by hand, add ¼ of the quantity of water. Mix only inside the indent, just to get a small ball of starter. Cover and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the rest of the water with oil, egg and salt and stir well. Put the flour bowl back on the mixer and mixing at a slow speed start adding the liquid. Switch to medium speed setting and mix for about 3-, rest for about 3- and then mix for 3 more minutes.
  3. Dough will look nice and smooth. Cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly dust your working surface with flour and knead the dough by hand for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on what you want to make, a three- or four-strand challah.
  5. Shape each piece into a foot long strand. Transfer all the pieces onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Braid the strands to form a challah. Cover the bread and let it rest and rise for about 30 minutes.
  6. Brush the bread with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  7. Bake at 200 C or 395 F for about 35-40 minutes or until challah gets a nice,  golden-brown color.

***More about shaping a four-strand challah here.

Proofing yeast for challah dough
Proofing yeast for challah dough

Making challah dough

Making challag

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah