Friday, August 15, 2014

Lemon Buttermillk Rhubarb Bundt Cake

The town where I grew up has been all over the news lately.  And not for a good reason at all.  I grew up in Ferguson, MO.  Until recently, you might not have ever heard of the place.  It's a northern suburb of St. Louis, sort of near the airport.  And if you still haven't heard of Ferguson, well, that is awesome.  Do no further research and just know that town produced the baker/sewer/knitter/crafter/clever person whose blog you are reading right this minute.  That is all you need to know.  Because the news is just awful.

As an aside, I find that most news in general is just awful.  Something isn't "news" anymore, it seems, unless it is just outrageous in some way, usually in a not so pleasant way.  Why is that?  Why can't super-awesome things be newsworthy?  Or just regularly-occurring good things?  *sigh*  Probably for the same reason that there is all sorts of trash "reality" television out there.  Outrageous sells. 

Anyway, here is the deal:  A young man was shot and killed by a police officer in my home town.  The race of the individuals in question really should not matter.  Someone was killed.  That is horrible.  A human life ended.  His family and friends will grieve him for the rest of their lives.  Another human being shot and killed that young man.  Yes, police officers are trained for this type of thing but regardless, it awful for anyone to live with.  That police officer will carry this with him forever.  And people around the location where this happened saw someone get shot and killed.  To actually see something like that would be horrifying, and not something you would ever forget.  It is a tragedy all of the way around.  The circumstances surrounding the incident do not change the fact that this is an awful tragedy.

But then random people seemed to go crazy.  There was all sorts of rioting/fires/looting/insanity going on.  Why?  What is the purpose of this?  I just don't understand the mentality of why people think this might be an appropriate response to a tragedy.

Here is what I think...  I think those angry rioters need to stay home and eat a piece of cake.  Cake makes you happy!  And while they eat that cake, maybe their brains would get in a better place and they could re-evaluate their decisions!  Don't we all need moments like this?  When we are fed up and wound up and about to blow up?  We need someone to say, "here, sit down and have a piece of cake" so we can decompress a little bit.

And if you are going to do that, you might as well eat this beautiful Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake.  I am certain it will put a smile on your face!

I mean, look at it.  First of all, I (of course) used my super-favorite new bundt cake pan, which is so beautiful it always makes me smile!  And do you see the white glaze dripping down the sides?  That's a lemon glaze.  Mmmm-hmmm.  Now, do you see the red dots and spots inside the cake?  That would be the rhubarb.  Rhubarb is a vegetable, so now you can proudly tell your momma that you ate your vegetables today.  She'll be proud.  Now you might think that rhubarb is tart enough already, why would you add lemon to that?  I'll tell you why - because it is delicious, that's why!  This cake is a delightful mixture of sweet and tart at the same time.  It is super moist, and almost custard-y in those places where the pieces of rhubarb are hanging out.  Add this soft texture to the zip of the lemon glaze and it is just blissful.  This cake makes your taste buds sing. 

And how can you go out and do angry things when your taste buds are singing?  You can't!  See?  Problem solved.

Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake
adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (for rhubarb pieces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups sugar
zest of one lemon
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon oil (I used lemon extract)
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and thinly sliced, making 3 cups

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
juice of 1-2 lemons (to taste)

1 TB softened unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350F and thoroughly butter a 10-cup Bundt pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.  Cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, until the mixture is light and fluffy.  This will take about 4 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between each.  Stir in the lemon oil/extract.  Mix in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk.  Start and end with the flour.  This batter will be thick!  Toss the rhubarb slices with 2 TB flour until all pieces are well coated.  This helps prevent them from all falling to the bottom (or top since this is a Bundt pan) of the cake.

Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for 30 more minutes, until it is golden brown on the edges and the top springs back when gently pressed.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and continue cooling on the wire rack.

Whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice and butter together in a medium bowl.  Place a piece of waxed paper under the cooling rack that holds your Bundt.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake.  
Printable Recipe

Relax and eat some cake.  Place your anger aside for a bit and decompress with some yummy-goodness.  Now, isn't this a much better alternative??

Note:  My parents are fine.  Yes, they still live there, but they are in a different area and are staying away from the drama.  They are really saddened by the situation and the dreadful news reports that are linked to their town.  It is hard for any town to recover from this type of bad news.

1 comment:

  1. Darn, I wish I had enough rhubarb in the freezer to make this cake! It sounds and looks just delicious. Perhaps you are right; a piece of delicious cake would make the taste buds sing, anger decompress and protestors would be ready to discuss peaceful solutions!


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