Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Upside-Down “Strawbarb” Cake

I am on vacation! But guess what?! It’s RAINING. The three days I get to really enjoy this summer — to celebrate my graduation and to live it up before I begin the real world — have been significantly dampened, literally, by some seriously soggy weather. Yesterday was pretty nice, not super warm but at least partly sunny. I snapped some good pics and AW and I enjoyed roaming around downtown Edgartown and walking the beach. But today was a different story — we woke to cloudy skies, and the rain began shortly after noon. It’s supposed to continue through tomorrow. We booked an earlier ferry home, and will hope for clearer skies the next time.

So here I am, writing a blog post when I should be on the beach, but what can you do? Sometimes these things happen. I haven’t baked in about a week, and I’m having serious withdrawal! So I can share this recipe (originally from the brilliant Martha Stewart) and re-live its creation.

I searched for over an hour to find a suitable recipe for Mother’s Day. We had lots of fresh rhubarb growing in the back yard, and both my mother and my grandmother like rhubarb desserts, so it seemed like the thing to do. I found this recipe through another blog who’d tried it and said it had been a complete flop. But the recipe looked incredible, so I followed it to its source (Martha Stewart, May 2010) and decided to give it a go. We had a lot of extra strawberries in the fridge, so I decided to make it Strawberry Rhubarb, which is easily one of my top 5 favorite flavor combinations.

I didn’t have a 10-inch cake pan, so I used a 10-inch pie plate, and it come out beautifully. It’s a pretty big cake, especially when baked in a pie pan, but we had no trouble at all eating a big chunk of it that night. I had a pretty heavy had with the orange liqueur (which I used in place of the orange juice), so I probably used closer to 1/4 cup, but it was so delicious.

The cake itself (which AW calls the “Strawbarb cake” — clever, yes?) is incredibly rich and dense, but almost a little bit crumbly at the same time. It has a very buttery citrus flavor, and was really unlike any cake I’d ever had or made before. I’m feeling a bit sleepy, and think a nap is in order, so I’ll be lazy and not post the recipe here this time, but you can follow the link above, and also this link here to find the recipe. I made a few alterations which I have listed below.

– In place of the pound of rhubarb, I used 1/2 pound of rhubarb  and 1/2 pound of strawberries. It came out beautifully

– I used orange liqueur in place of the orange juice, and added a lot of extra liqueur — probably closer to 1/4 cup. This was completely accidental (the bottle was nearly empty, and I had a lot of encouragement to use the rest in the cake), but also completely delicious

– I only had 1/2 cup sour cream, so I used 1/2 cup buttermilk in place of the rest of the sour cream. Another very successful substitution

This cake is really quite delicious. The fruit gets nice and caramelized, and it is super fragrant while baking — the entire kitchen smells like sugary baked fruit. The “crust” on the top (which is like a little crunchy crust once inverted) is a fun surprise, and also very yummy. We served ours with ice cream (my father drove all the way into town, which is a small hike from where we live, to get the ice cream specifically for this purpose), and that took it up another notch — totally not necessary, but if you’re feeling indulgent, go for it!

We’re headed back tomorrow, and I’m going home the day after. Hopefully I’ll be back in the kitchen before the weekend, and back soon with more goodies to share.

I’ve been contemplating a change for this blog as it grows up, and I want it to become more serious than it is. Maybe more of a theme, or a direction? And possibly incorporating more of my life into it, not just the recipes I try. But I know there are a ton of bloggers out there trying to do the same thing as me, so we’ll see. I just know that it’s become something so much bigger than I had planned on or intended, and I love it too much not to see it through to it’s greatest potential. I just have to figure out in which direction I’d like to go!

Anyway, it’s about nap time now, and I’m on vacation so I am completely entitled.

Be back soon 🙂

With love, and sugar. Enjoy!

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