Lately my thoughts have been dithering in a hundred different directions — distracted by work, family, and my own interior life. Mostly I am thinking about beginnings and endings and how the line between them is very fine.
This is rhubarb again. I’m enjoying the hell out of this beautiful vegetable while it’s in season.
I confess this recipe is mostly the result of needing to use up a few items before they went bad. I generally don’t enjoy nor understand why so many coffee cakes need to be dry as bones and crumbly as sand. I like moistness and tenderness and density and multidimensional flavor: tart, sweet, buttery, salty, spicy. This recipe checks off all those boxes for me.
Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Adapted from Not Without Salt
1 c + 1 c rhubarb (washed, stems and leaves removed, please), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 c + 1 c loose light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c buttermilk
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c of a high protein flour, in this case, I am using Einkorn flour, but you may simply use durum or semolina, as suggested in the original recipe
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp instant espresso powder
3 tsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Combine 1 and 1/2 cups of brown sugar with rhubarb in a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 9″ cake pan.
Combine instant espresso powder with the hot water. Let it cool slightly.
Cream together butter and 1 cup of brown sugar until the butter is light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Mix in cream, buttermilk, espresso mixture, and 1 cup of macerated rhubarb.
In another bowl, whisk together flours, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into cake pan, top with the last cup of macerated rhubarb.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. This makes a very good dessert, snack, and breakfast.