I used to be good at making restaurant recommendations. Now I practically break into a cold sweat when someone asks me for suggestions.
If you need a recipe, I can do that, but I can’t tell you where the latest exciting places are to dine out.
Over five years into our wonderful child-filled life, my husband and I don’t get out to eat like we used to. Back in the day, scoring reservations at a new and hot restaurant was practically a sport.
Life is different, and I love that. My how priorities have changed!
We do take our son out to dinner, but we have to be realistic about where to go to meet his culinary preferences.
The other weekend we had an adult dinner with friends. The restaurant had just opened. They made the reservation and invited us along.
When I do eat out, it’s fun and research, but the best kind of work. In between chatting, I am always making mental notes of what I find inspiring and how I can translate it to something for the home cook.
We finished that meal with our friends by sharing a piece of rhubarb cake. It only took me a couple bites to figure out that the cake was made with almond flour. The moist, nutty crumb gave it away.
I went early Saturday morning to the farmer’s market with rhubarb at the top of my list. Not as many stands had it as I expected. Luckily I left with a bunch of stalks.
I was ready to bake my own rhubarb almond cake.
Each stalk was a slightly different width and color. I halved some and quartered others. Then I arranged them in an ombréof pink to green.
I roughly chopped the odds and ends of the rest of the stalks.
In the food processor, I ground almonds, flour and salt until they had the texture of fine sand.
For the wet ingredients, I beat the butter and sugar. Once they were light and fluffy, I continued with the eggs and vanilla extract.
I carefully mixed the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and folded in Greek yogurt.
In a tart pan with ruffled edges, I spread about a cup of batter and scattered over the chopped rhubarb. I smoothed the rest of the batter on top.
It was time to for the ombré organized stalks. I pressed them in and sprinkled on granulated sugar.
The cake rose and baked to a deep golden brown with the rhubarb stripes on top. The secret rhubarb hidden inside almost melted into a sweet, slightly tart jam.
My homemade version of that rhubarb almond cake from the restaurant has me thinking that I need to get out more often.
Rhubarb Almond Cake
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 70-80 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30-40 minutes
- Yield: One 9-inch cake 1x
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature plus more for pan
3/4 – 1 pound rhubarb stalks, trimmed
3/4 cup almonds
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch diameter tart pan with a removable bottom and place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan.
Halve or quarter the rhubarb stalks lengthwise, so they are about 1/4-inch wide. Lay out the best stalks so you have enough to put in rows across the top of the cake. Roughly chop the rest of the rhubarb into 1/2-inch-long pieces. You should have about a generous cup.
In a food processor, pulse the almonds, flour, baking powder and salt until the nuts are finely ground.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, cream the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until they are pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla extract. Continue beating for another 4 minutes until it is even more light and fluffy.
On low speed, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the Greek yogurt.
Spread about 1 cup of the batter into the bottom of the pan. Scatter the chopped rhubarb on top. Spread on the remaining batter smoothing it into an even layer. Place the long rhubarb pieces on top in stripes.
Bake for 70-80 minutes until the cake is golden brown and it springs back when pressed.
Adapted from Bon Appetit April 2015