Finnish Rhubarb Cake

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About: Justin Tyler Tate is an artist, designer, animator, teacher, jeweler and maker/hacker who produces with thoughts of culture, science and interactivity.

The end of the summer is here in northern climates and there is a red and green plant growing all over as a wild plant as well as in gardens. The plant has leaves that are toxic and stalks which are super sour but it can be made delicious when it's natural acidity is paired with sweetness.

Aside from resulting in a delicious sweet and sour dessert, rhubarb is filled with an abundance of vitamin-K, Vitamin-C, vitamin-A, manganese, along with folate, riboflavin, niacin, B-vitamins, pantothenic acid, iron, potassium, and phosphorus.

I learned this recipe in Finland but I believe it to be common in Nordic and Baltic countries due to its ease, taste, simplicity and because of an abundance of Rhubarb.

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Step 1: INGREDIENTS

Most of the ingredients for this cake are pretty basic. You will need:

  • 2c flour
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 1tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2c milk
  • 1/4c oil
  • 2c chopped rhubarb

Aside from the cake batter, you will also make a crumble topping for the cake which includes:

  • 50 grams of butter or margarine
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 1/2c flour

You will need some basic tools like:

  • mixing bowls
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • a whisk or fork
  • spatula
  • baking pan approximately 5cm deep x 20cm wide by 15cm deep
  • an oven,

Step 2: The WET, the DRY and the RHUBARB

  • In a large bowl, mix together the dry cake ingredients:
    • 2c flour
    • 3/4c sugar
    • 1tbsp vanilla sugar
    • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • In another smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients:
    • 2c milk
    • 1/4c oil
  • Peel the skin off of the rhubarb and chop it into pieces about a centimeter long until you have about 2 cups and set it aside.

Step 3: COMBINE

  • Mix your wet mixture into the dry mixture, using your whisk or fork to beat it into a semi-homogeneous cake batter.

Step 4: ASSEMBLE

Now is the time to begin assembling your rhubarb cake:

  • Grease your baking pan or use aluminium foil so that your cake does not stick to the pan.
  • Pour your cake batter into the pan.
  • Evenly distribute the rhubarb on top.

Step 5: CRUMBLE

Mixing the basic crumble topping should only take a few moments:

  • In a bowl combine 50 grams of butter or margarine, 1/2c sugar and 1/2c flour until you get a consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Begin by cutting the butter or margarine into the flour and sugar and then work it together with your hands.

Step 6: SPRINKLE and BAKE

  • Evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over rhubarb and cake batter which has been resting in the cake pan.
  • Bake it for 30 minutes at 200°C / 390°F

Step 7: ENJOY

Now that your Rhubarb cake is finished it's best to let it cool for a few minutes before eating a piece while it is still hot...maybe with a scoop of ice cream on the side, but that is just my suggestion. Enjoy the rhubarb cake as a sweet and sour sign of the summer's end; of the heat and pleasures enjoyed in the past couple of months as well as the looming autumn and winter.

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