Spring is my absolute favorite season. With Easter having been so early, and this gray/rainy weather sticking around much longer than appreciated, I feel like I’ve been awaiting the arrival of spring goodies with a very eager eye…Ramps, asparagus, green garlic, and rhubarb…That dusty-rose and oddly tart doppelgänger of celery.
After much patience, I finally got my hands on some fresh rhubarb this past Saturday at the farmer’s market. This recipe had become quite idle under my many opened Safari tabs which include: an assortment of other recipes that I want to make, things to buy for my new home, and countless articles that I keep telling myself I’ll read, but know that in time I’ll eventually just close out half of them…ugh, the Internet, so connecting, informative, and frustratingly overwhelming all at the same time…However waiting for the rhubarb was well worth keeping that recipe tab opened.
In other news, I have officially secured a food-related job. One that I’m extremely excited about, and have continuously been pinching myself over. A little less than a year ago, I blogged about things to do and sights to see in Hudson (crazy to think I live here now!), and featured a newly opened cheese and provisions shop, Talbott & Arding. I confessed how much I loved it; how creative and forward it seemed, how it was much more than cheese and provisions, utilizing all locally sourced produce and goods for their prepared foods, how it was owned and operated by creative and successful hard-working women…well now I work there!
I think many people were perplexed as to why I decided to move out of New York City, and even more perplexed as to why I wanted to find a job in the food industry. Like most humans, my passions evolve with age, but each one informs the other. Dancing led me to training, which led me to nutrition and cooking, which led to eating and shopping locally, which led to an interest in agriculture and the land, which led me to Hudson…I guess that’s the easiest way to explain it all, even though the transitions weren’t always linear, but what in life is actually linear?
So here I am in a new city, forever filled with a passion for dance, movement, fitness, and training but currently focusing more on growing my experience in the kitchen and food culture on a more professional level.
I have grandiose plans that one day all these loves of mine will culminate into a beautiful entrepreneurial blossom of helping others use and feed their bodies while using and feeding the land that supports us…But until then, I’ll keep paying my bills, leaving plenty of tabs open on my browser, and eating rhubarb cake.
Note: This is an extremely similar version of this cake.
Spiced Rhubarb-Almond Cake
-1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
-3/4 C. plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, plus more for pan
-1lb. rhubarb stalks, trimmed
-1 & 1/4 C. AP flour
-3/4 C. blanched almonds
-1 tsp. baking powder
-3/4 tsp. kosher salt
-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
-1/4 tsp. ground ginger
-1/2 half vanilla bean, split lengthwise
-2 large eggs
-1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter tart pan or cake pan (I used a 9″ x 13″) and sprinkle with sugar, tapping out excess.
-Slice rhubarb in half lengthwise (quarter if very large). Set 8 of the prettiest pieces aside for the top of the cake; chop remaining rhubarb into 1/2″ pieces.
-Pulse flour, almonds, baking powder, salt, and spices in a food processor until almonds are finely ground, look for a sandy texture.
-Place 1 C. butter and 3/4 C. sugar in a large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
-Add eggs, one at a time, beating to blend first egg before adding second. Beat until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
-Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, followed by yogurt. Beat, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed, just to combine (batter will be thick).
-Fold in chopped rhubarb and scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth batter and arrange reserved rhubarb on top; sprinkle with remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar.
-Bake, rotating once, until cake is golden brown and rhubarb on top is soft and beginning to brown, 70–80 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool before removing from pan. Serve with the best vanilla ice cream you can get your paws on.