Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rhubarb Coconut Upside Down Cake

I *love* rhubarb. Yes, it's tart, but it's got a really great taste. Hard to describe if you haven't had it. Although the flavor on its own is really good, I'm also looking for things to pair it with. I love rhubarb jam, but feel that sometimes the rhubarb taste can get lost if you make strawberry rhubarb jam.

Enter coconut milk. You know me, I always have to get out the coconut milk, right? Well, this time, it's the perfect compliment to rhubarb. Once you get past the tartness of the rhubarb, the subtle flavor can shine - and a beautiful coconut milk cake is the perfect compliment to the rhubarb topping. 

This cake was wonderful. I had to get rid of it so I wouldn't eat it all. If I could get my hands on some rhubarb starts so I can grow my own now...

For a printable recipe, click here.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

For the bottom of the cake:

1/4 c. butter
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 ½ cup rhubarb, thinly sliced

For the cake:

1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 1/3 c. all purpose flour
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare the bottom of the cake: In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and heat until well combined and sugar is melted, about 3 minutes. Add rhubarb. Remove from heat. Grease and flour a 9” square cake pan. This cake does like to stick, but I don’t recommend parchment. Put the rhubarb mixture on the bottom of the pan and let cool while you make the cake. This is where you can arrange the rhubarb nicely if you have the patience for it (I don’t).

For the cake: Cream butter, brown sugar, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, baking powder, salt, and egg. Add 1/2 of the coconut milk, followed by the flour, then the remaining coconut milk, mixing until a very smooth batter. Pour over the top of the prepared, cooled rhubarb mixture in your pan.

Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when lightly touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest 5-10 minutes only, and invert over a large plate.

Serve warm. And don’t eat the entire thing…it will give you a tummy ache.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chocolate pop tarts (filled with Nutella, among other things)

Sometimes, you just have to have chocolate.  This is perfect for one of those sometimes. I've made home made pop tarts before. They are amazing with kaya in the middle. Even better with some rhubarb jam. And, the difference between these and the package really is night and day.

In one of the live journal communities I'm a member of, someone mentioned chocolate craving and pop tarts in the same sentence. That was the only excuse I needed to embark on a quest to stuff nutella in some pop tarts.

Of course, I couldn't stop there, I had to drag out one of my favorite books (Baking with Julia), and play around with the chocolate crust recipe she has. I changed it a little bit - I didn't feel like dealing with the egg - and this was the result. Dark chocolate crust, with all different kinds of filling...

Peanut butter...caramel...caramel and pecans...nutella...marshmallow...Yea, I went there. And the results were all fantastic. The picture doesn't show the chocolate chips I melted to drizzle over the top of these, but that was another layer of chocolate for me...

 For a .pdf of the recipe, click here.

Chocolate Pop Tarts

For the crust:
(adapted from Baking with Julia)

1 ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour
3 T. unsweetened dutch processed cocoa
1/3 c. sugar
4 ounces butter, frozen, then grated
¼ t. salt
1-3 T. ice cold water

In a medium size bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Mix until very well combined. Add the shredded frozen butter, and gently combine with a spatula, or your hands. Your goal here is to have every piece of butter well coated with the flour mixture.

Add water, a tablespoon at a time, adding just enough for dough to come together into a ball. Gently fold the dough to evenly combine, then refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350. Divide dough in to 4 pieces. Roll one piece to 16” wide and ¼” thin. Cut dough into 4” by 2” rectangles. Place ½ of these rectangles onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush edges with water, and place desired filling in the middle. Place 1 to 1 ½ tablespoon filling in the middle, then press another dough rectangle on top, crimping the edges with a fork as you go.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until pastry looks done. Look at the corners of the pastry, and they look slightly browner than the center. Your pop tarts will also look dryer in the center when done – more of a matte color than a slight shiny dough when raw.

Serve warm. These freeze well and can be popped into the toaster. If desired, frost with melted chocolate chips, or an equal mixture of melted chocolate chips and nutella.

Suggested Fillings:

Nutella (this is delicious)
1 large marshmallow, cut in ½ (gently put a hole over this filling if you use it)
¼ c. peanut butter mixed with 2 T. powdered sugar
Chocolate chips
One slice of a carmello bar, or a fun size 100grand bar