Rhubarb is my brother-in-law’s favorite fruit, well rhubarb and raspberries together. I made him a rhubarb financier and while he liked it, he though that a raspberry or two would really have upped the wow factor. All summer he has been bugging me to make him a rhubarb-raspberry-chocolate something. Tonight we are heading over to their place for dinner. So, I thought with him grilling up something delicious for us on his new man-Q, I would indulge him.
However, that said, I just cannot wrap my head around the rhubarb – chocolate combo. Rhubarb is meant for pies and crumbles, where it is the star, not tortes where it has to compete with the chocolate for the limelight. I use a torte as an example as this was the latest request… rhubarb-raspberry-chocolate torte. Nope, I could not do it. Even in my mind it tastes gross (sorry, Duncan).
While denying him his wish, his request did make me consider rhubarb as an ingredient for more than just a bubbly dish with a bit of crumble sprinkled on top. I thought about a tart but did not want to puree the rhubarb. I thought about a compote next to a tiered cake but then thought that too pretentious for our backyard business. I really just wanted some down-home-good-cooking rhubarb fixed into a dessert to go with the grilled goodness we were in for. For no particular reason: pies, macaroni and cheese, cakes without icing, tea biscuits with stew, my Dad’s pancakes and a loaf of any kind (including meatloaf) fit the ‘down home’ bill in my kitchen.
Thus, the criteria ended up being: the rhubarb had to shine, the raspberries had to be present, there could be no icing, a crispy topping is always good and sadly, the mac n’ cheese would have to sit this one out…
Upside Down Rhubarb Raspberry Cake with Crumble
1/4 cup butter
1 cup unpacked brown sugar
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (or frozen would work too)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 cup yogurt (don’t use the low-fat variety)
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oats
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut a circle of parchment paper to place at the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan and butter sides and parchment.
For the fruit topping:
Place the butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium-low heat and bring to a bubble. Set aside and allow to cool.
Place fruit, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl and mix together. Allow to sit.
For the cake:
Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl each time. Add the orange juice.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In three batches add the flour to the butter-egg mixture, alternating with the yogurt, beat until smooth.
For the crumble:
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and buzz quickly until crumbly.
Smooth the brown sugar-butter mixture over the parchment and then top with fruit. Smooth the cake batter over the rhubarb and raspberries. Sprinkle the crumble on top (the crumble will end up being the base rather than the top in this recipe.
Bake for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes (mine took close to 1 hour 35), until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto your serving plate, otherwise it will probably remain stuck for all time in the pan.
My spring-form pan, apparently, does not seal quite properly so I ended up with a bit of a mess. Some of the juice escaped into my oven, started to smoke, the smoke scared my dog who started to bark at the oven, which scared me into thinking there was a mouse under it, until I smelled what she was smelling… sugary juice burning onto the bottom of my oven. Lesson learned: wrap the spring form with two sheets of foil to avoid total kitchen choas.