Rhubarb Coconut Cake

I almost did not blog about this cake, for the very banal reason that all pictures of it came out boring and unappetizing. But as I was eating the last piece (3 days after baking it and it was still moist and delicious) I decided that I had to put this recipe up. It´s one of the very best things I ever made with rhubarb and that´s saying something, considering how much I love the stuff (I could eat plain rhubarb compote and be a happy girl).

There´s something about the combination of rhubarb and coconut that just works really well - the sweet nuttyness and and the sharp astringent sourness are simply a perfect match. The joghurt in this cake helps to keep it moist even a couple of days after baking.

The recipe is an adaptation of Nigella Lawsons recipe for Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake in How to be a Domestic Goddess - basically substituting coconut for cornmeal. If you love rhubarb, make this cake - and if you think you don´t, make it as well - a couple of my co-workers who were raving about the cake looked very surprised when I told them the main ingredient.

Rhubarb Coconut Cake
450 grams rhubarb(trimmed weight)
300 grams sugar
200 grams flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
splash of vanilla extract
100 grams grated dried coconut
2 large eggs
125 grams softened butter
250 grams yoghurt
a 23 or 24 cm springform cake tin (I used a square tin) buttered and lined with baking paper

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Chop up the rhubarb into fairly small pieces and toss these in a bowl with 100 grams of the sugar. let stand for half an hour while you mix the rest of the ingredients. Nigella says not to let the rhubarb stand for more than 30 minutes or it will get too soggy.

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, bicarb, salt, the coconut). Beat the eggs with the vanilla in a small bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter with the rest of the sugar. Add the eggs to this and then the flour mixture, and finally the yoghurt. Stir gently and don´t overmix.

Finally add the rhubarb 8and the sugar and fold it in. Pour the mixture into the the prepared tin and bake the cake for an hour. Cover with foil after 40 minutes or so if the top gets too brown.

My cake was ready in 50 minutes.


Pancake Bliss

I love all pancakes - anything from lacy, thin French crepes, to hearty large Dutch pancakes with cheese and bacon and syrup. But I have to say that American style pancakes have a special place in my heart. I love their fluffiness, and the high ratio of fried crust to airy interior. They can be sweet or savory depending on your mood (as long as you don't put too much sugar in the batter, which would make the pancakes unsuitable for savory toppings). Or you could do what we did last night: have pancakes both for a main course and for dessert.

I fried them on my gorgeous new cast iron griddle pan, one of the many culinary birthday presents I received this year - thanks M & M!

You could make them with just regular flour, but I wanted something with just a little more bite and flavour so I used half regular flour / half wholemeal spelt flour. I'm guessing any type of wholemeal flour would work instead.

Spelt pancakes (depending on the size you make them, you'll get about 20-24 pancakes from this amount of batter).

mix together in a large bowl:
150 gram wholemeal spelt flour
150 gram regular flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together in another bowl:
2 large eggs
100 ml milk
200 ml buttermilk
30 grams melted butter

Heat your frying pan or griddle. While it's heating up, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Don't overmix, it's ok if you still see some lumps.
Use cooking spray or oil or butter to grease the pan or griddle. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the griddle and cook the pancakes until small bubbles appear on the surface. Flip them and cook for a couple more seconds - don't overcook them.

We had them for dinner with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and spring onions, and then we had them for dessert with butter and maple syrup. And then we had to lie down for a bit because we were so stuffed - pancakes will do that to you, but hey, it's bliss, so who cares?


Herinnert u zich deze nog?

Ik ben een beetje in mijn foto archief aan het graven (ik zou kunnen zeggen dat ik het aan het opschonen ben, en dat zou ook eigenlijk het geval moeten zijn, maar voorlopig kom ik nog niet veel verder dan alles te bekijken, dus laten we eerlijk blijven...). Deze twee foto's zijn uit mei 2006, zijn drie jaar oud dus, en het grappige is dat ik me het ene gerecht, de gebakken risotto, nog als de dag van gisteren kan herinneren en zelfs bijna kan proeven als ik mijn ogen dicht doe, terwijl ik me de Sint Jacobsschelpen absoluut niet meer voor de geest kan halen. En zo vaak komen die niet op tafel, dus dat maakt het des te gekker. Ze zien er lekker uit, een soort salade denk ik, oosters getint, met een soja dip saus? Het ziet er niet uit als iets wat ik zelf verzonnen heb. Vooral door die kunstig gesneden sliertjes komkommer vermoed ik dat mijn voorbeeld in een kookboek of tijdschrift stond.

Ik ben bang dat dit een speurtocht door kookboeken tot gevolg gaat hebben.. ik zal dit weekend niet rusten voor ik de mysterieuze Sint Jacobsschelpen heb teruggevonden en klaargemaakt.


It was 14 years ago today

(hey, I make the rules, I can break them too. Not blogging is harder than I thought.. so let´s just say I´ll be blogging low profile for a while - less words, more pictures).

Thought of the day:
An anniversary dinner should be just like a marriage.

Delicious, not too complicated, sometimes messy, taking a chance (eating out even when it´s a little too windy), good enough to lick your fingers, not worrying about cleaning up, informal. Did I mention delicious?

Tearing up a roasted chicken together comes pretty close.


A Little Time

So, that was April. Full of fun, love, emotions, festivities, travel, unexplored territories, great food, hard work, people, socializing, disappointments, spending spending and more spending, expectations and dreams. Big Words, yes I know, but it was a Big Month. Trust me.

It has left me more than a bit tired.

Now I need some time, just a little bit of time, to turn inwards and look at things, to write just for me and not for you. A little time to be selfish and uncompromising. I will come back here, but for now, just for a little while: goodbye.