Friday, April 24, 2015

Rhubarb Meringue Cake


In Germany access to rhubarb is so much easier than in the states. Forget the fact for years it has grown in the garden here. Every supermarket and roadside vendor has rhubarb on offer in early spring.





It's inspiring. This early spring harvest of rhubarb in Germany brings many delicious and creative recipes to the table. This German style rhubarb meringue cake is no exception.



The recipe contains a lot less sugar than an American style equivalent. Adding fresh cut rhubarb pieces to the dough bakes in a slightly sour flavor which pairs well with the sweet baked meringue topping.



A few tips for working with Rhubarb:

The leaves are poisonous. Make sure you thoroughly strip or cut them off of the rhubarb stalks before cooking with them. Keep the discarded leaves away from children or pets.

The red part of the stalks is the most tender and less sour than the green parts. Use this to your advantage depending on what type of recipe you are making. This cake contains 3/4 cup of sugar between the cake and the meringue topping so I used the less sour, most red parts of the stalks.


Rhubarb Meringue Cake
Prep Time: 50 minutes 
Bake Time: 48 minutes 
Yield: Serves 12
Ingredients:
  • 1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated  lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 egg, separated, plus one egg white
  • 3 cups fresh rhubarb pieces (I used the reddest parts)
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 
Directions:
  • Grease a 10" springform pan. 
  • Add a heaping tablespoon of flour and shake it around the pan so it sticks to the grease creating an even layer of flour. Dump out the excess flour and set the pan aside.
  • Sift the measured cup and a half of flour into a bowl or the bowl of your mixer. 
  • Add the dry yeast, white granulated sugar, salt, pure vanilla extract, melted unsalted butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh lemon zest, milk and the egg yolk from the separated egg and mix into a smooth, shiny dough. 
  • You can do this by hand or with the dough hook of your stand mixer. 
  • Sprinkle some all purpose flour over the dough. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let stand in a warm place for 15 minutes. Note: The dough will not rise like a bread. It will become just slightly larger in mass. 
  • Transfer the dough to the greased and floured springform pan. Smooth it out evenly in the bottom of the pan and let stand for another 15 minutes in a warm place. 
  • Clean the rhubarb carefully. Cut off the leaves and discard them. 
  • Dry the rhubarb thoroughly with a clean dish towel. Trim off any bruised or tough parts and slice the remaining stalks into small pieces. I like to use mostly the red (less sour) pieces for this cake. 
  • Sprinkle the rhubarb pieces evenly over the dough in the springform pan then press them in gently to slightly submerge the pieces in the dough. 
  • Re-cover the springform pan with a dish towel. Return the pan to a warm place in the kitchen and let the dough once again stand for another 15 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Place the rhubarb studded cake on the middle rack of the oven. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 
  • Remove the cake from the oven and turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. 
  • Beat the egg whites. Add the pinch of salt to stabilize them. 
  • When the egg whites turn foamy, gradually add the white granulated sugar to the egg whites. 
  • Beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form and the mixture is smooth and glossy. 
  • Use a teaspoon to scoop and smooth the sugared beaten egg whites onto the top of the cake. Make sure the meringue is evenly distributed over the top of the cake.
  • Place the cake back in the oven and bake for another 8 minutes or until the meringue on the top starts to turn golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. T
  • ake a butter or pastry knife and run it around the sides of the pan before you take the outside ring off. 
  • Let the cake cool completely, then place the cake on a serving plate using the pastry knife to remove it from the springform pan's bottom piece to carefully transfer it to the plate. 
  • Cut and serve. 

4 comments:

  1. I usually make a Rhubarb Cream Pie for my soon to be 26 yo son. I believe I will try this one in a couple of weeks at his birthday dinner!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum! We ate this cake in a cafe in Munich. Absolutely loved it :) Missed reading your blog, Lora. Life is calming down a little now, will soon be able to come over and read all that I've missed. x shaz

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