Love – a word that gets bandied around here quite a bit. Some would suggest overuse can lessen its potency, but I have yet to find a suitable replacement. “I really, really, really, really like this thing,” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Besides, there is such a lot to love.
Take rhubarb, for instance. I’ve mentioned my feelings towards this vegetable here, and also here. Why do I love it? I can’t really explain precisely, but there’s something about the texture and brilliant colour, and the tanginess that all combine to sweep my tastebuds off their ..er..buds.
So when I saw these Rhubarb Streusel Bars over at Hungry Dog’s blog, I knew I had to make something similar. Because bars, or as we say here in Oz – slices, are something I merely like, not love. Then when I saw this Quince Crumble Cake over at Lemonpi, I knew exactly what I would do - Rhubarb Crumble Pudding. Incidentally, I love reading food blogs (can you tell?).
I had the recipe that the crumble cake was based on : Rose Levy Beranbaum’s apple-cinnamon crumb coffee cake, but I’d never actually made it before. I substituted ground ginger for the cinnamon, almonds instead of walnuts, and rhubarb for the layer of fruit. Like Y, I used yoghurt instead of sour cream. Then I used a loaf pan and underbaked it on purpose to get the pudding texture. It was exactly how I imagined it would taste: warm, spicy, sweet, smooth, tangy, and crunchy. Awesome. (sorry, no photos, I served it at night when friends came over for dinner).
But the rhubarb obsession didn’t stop there. See, I didn’t make the ginger icing from Hungry Dog’s bar recipe earlier, and the thought kept nagging at me. My brain WANTED icing. This time, I halved the crumble cake recipe, and instead of nuts, I used toasted rolled oats that had been whizzed in the food processor. (I wanted to put a cupcake in Mini Critic Senior’s lunchbox, and her school has a strict No-Nut policy) .
The ginger-rhubarb cupcake was born. And it was really good. We loved it, from the top of its crunchy, oaty, streusel head, through the sweet, gingery icing, into the juicy, fresh rhubarb middle, and all the way right down to its little pillowy cake base.
You can find the cake and icing recipe as mentioned above. I baked the streusel topping on a large, lined tray, stirring every once in a while to make sure it cooked evenly. I also made stewed rhubarb, and dolloped the cooled rhubarb into the cake batter. When the cakes were baked and cooled, I covered with the ginger icing and sprinkled the streusel topping over it. Let the icing set.
From front: 1) oat streusel, 2)stewed rhubarb, 3)ground oat, sugar and spice mixture
What’s not to love?