I had an intense craving for soft pretzels this past weekend while shopping at the mall. Since I’m not running at all these days due to the growing little one requiring most of my mojo, I resisted the smell of buttery goodness emanating from dear Auntie Anne’s. Still, the thought of soft pretzels, served warm and tender from the oven, lingered…
There’s nothing like a breathtakingly delicious meal at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon to get me back in the blogging groove! Viva Las Vegas!
Before we dig into the stupendous eats, a big thank you for sticking around during my long and unexpected hiatus. A little over two months ago, two major changes came into my life. The first, a new job! Woo! The second, a pregnancy! Woo hoo! Juggling both, with a side of intense nausea, was damn tough. But at last, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or at least I hope so…
After months of going to bed before the sun set and surviving on a sad and steady diet of saltines (and sometimes hot dogs!), I wasn’t quite sure if I’d be up for any fancy dinners while in Las Vegas for work this past weekend. Thankfully, I was feeling peppier, and more importantly, in the mood for feasting, by the time the trip arrived.
I dined solo this evening, which meant that I didn’t have to share any of the spectacular bread and salted butter. By the end of the meal, I’d made quite the dent in both. God, it was good.
And then there were two amuse-bouches, one meatless and the other not-so-much. On the vegetarian front was a wicked refreshing shot of grapefruit and guacamole. The lingering spice was awfully nice.
The Astronomer and I celebrated another year of marriage this past April, and I’ve been meaning to crank out this post since then. Life can feel hectic these days both on the personal and professional fronts, but there’s always time for cakes and milestones—Always!
Since it’s tradition to bestow fruit upon one’s beloved in honor of the fourth wedding anniversary, I baked my guy a Rhubarb Crumble Cake. He can’t resist tart rhubarb paired with a good streusel topping, and I’m always up for a culinary challenge.
This cake, which is seasonally served at Chef Fergus Henderson’s super-fabulous St. John Restaurant in London, is a triple threat. The bottom-most layer, moist and buttery cake, gives way to a generous layer of tangy fruit kissed with orange zest. Finally, a nutty topping that’s crunchy and wholly complementary ties all the layers together. This is certainly “a kind of British cooking” that I can get behind.
For fruit mixture
- 3 large stalks of rhubarb
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
- Grated zest of 1 orange
NOTE: You could also use apples, apricots, cooked quinces, nectarines, gooseberries, pears and ginger, or plums
For cake mix
- 1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
- Scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
- Scant 1/4 cup full-fat milk
For crumble mix
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 ouces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 Turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- A pinch of salt
First top and tail the rhubarb, give it a good wash and cut it into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Mix it with the sugars and the orange zest and set aside for 30 minutes.
For the cake mix, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, bit by bit to prevent curdling. Then fold in the sifted flour, and last of all mix in the milk. Put to one side.
For the crumble mix, sift the flour into a bowl, add the butter and rub them together with your fingertips until they look like large breadcrumbs. Stir in the Turbinado sugar, ground almonds, sliced almonds and salt. Continue reading ‘St. John’s Rhubarb Crumble Cake’