12 July 2014

Strawberry and Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

A couple of weeks ago, when strawberries and rhubarb across Quebec started ripening and showing up in our grocery stores and markets, I asked my Mum if she could bake her strawberry and rhubarb upside down cake. It is one of my favourite deserts for this time of year. The fresh fruit and vegetable (yes, rhubarb is a vegetable!) make all the difference in this desert and the light cake is the perfect balance to the sweet strawberries and slightly sour taste of the rhubarb that I love so much. The cake batter is easy to make, which is reassuring as I plan to bake this for myself in the future. I asked my mum if could walk me through the process so I could learn and share it with you.

Preparing the fruits

Cut up the rhubarb and strawberries in equal sized pieces so they will cook evenly. You want to have the same amount of rhubarb as strawberries. We made two cakes so we used just a little over 2 cups of both. Mix the strawberries and rhubarb together and sprinkle 3/4 cup of sugar over the fruit and vegetable.

Basic white cake

(Makes 2 cakes) 

425 mL    flour
  15 mL    baking powder
    2 mL    salt
125 mL    butter, at room temperature
250 mL    sugar
          2    eggs
    5 mL    vanilla extract
175 mL    milk

Preheat the oven at 350ºF (180ºC). In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt). In another, larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract, adding each ingredient one at a time until the mixture is light a fluffy (approximately 6 minutes). When the mixture is ready, add the dry ingredients and the milk gradually by alternating between the two. It's important to start and end with the dry ingredients. This mixing stage is easier to do by hand rather than with the electric mixer. Once you have a homogenous mixture, spread it evenly across the strawberry and rhubarb. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Not sure if it's fully cooked? Take a toothpick and pop it in the middle of the cake, if it comes out with batter still on it, it's not ready; if it comes out dry, it's ready!

Serve warm, with or without vanilla ice cream. I like it best without the ice cream so I fully taste and appreciate how delicious this cake is. Enjoy!

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