Welcome to my Cooking with Friends series! This spring, as I work on cookbook projects that keep me very busy, I’ve invited some of my favorite blogger friends to share recipes with you. I hope you’ll have just as much fun cooking and baking with them as I do.
Today, I’m welcoming Janice from Kitchen Heals Soul. Janice is one of the most meticulous and passionate bakers I know. With her background in chemistry (she has a PhD!), you better believe her cake recipes are perfection! Today, she is sharing her colorful Rhubarb Pumpkin Seed Cake. Enjoy!
I want people to bake more with rhubarb, but I think a lot of people aren’t sure what exactly to do with it. Rhubarb has such a sour, astringent flavour profile that can be quite the challenge to play with in the kitchen. The thing is: rhubarb makes such a wonderful, tart addition to so many classic recipes that we bake. You can chop it and add it to a biscuit dough or to muffins. You can use it to make a batch of jam. Of course, you can bake it into a pie, but most of the time, I’m lazy, so crumbles are the way to go. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than pulling a hot, bubbly pan of fruit crumble out of the oven. It’s downright irresistible and tastes fantastic with ice cream. I bet it would taste great with Marie’s salted butter caramel ice cream! That being said, if you would like to bake me a rhubarb pie, I would be happy to eat it! Just sayin’.
The funniest characteristic of rhubarb is its shape: long stalks much like celery, very different from the rest of the spring-summer offerings. So many bloggers have gotten really creative, cutting and arranging rhubarb in crazy elaborate patterns in tarts mostly. Inspired by them, I created this basket weave pattern with my rhubarb in this rhubarb pumpkin seed cake.
I guarantee you this pattern isn’t nearly as difficult as some of the others you will find on the internet. This cake is loaded with rhubarb, and has a sweet nutty flavour from pumpkin seeds, which reminds a lot of financiers, but bigger. I suspect the recipe would taste great (if not better) baked in greased muffin tins if you prefer. Try it and let me know how you like it!
Janice is a PhD-chemist-turned-baker, which is why she loves to use science to understand and solve problems in the kitchen. She’s currently working as a recipe developer and food photographer in Montréal, Québec. Visit Janice’s blog, Kitchen Heals Soul, for more recipes, a little baking science, and some inspiration. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
All photos above this point: © Janice Lawandi.