20 February 2012

let them eat cake!!

There is a website called The Rhubarb Compendium. People have, since 1994, devoted time and energy to extolling the virtues of rhubarb.   Whilst I think that they probably ought to have better things to do, their waxing lyrical did help me stumble upon the following recipe.  Now what, you may ask, was I doing traipsing about the internet looking up rhubarb, especially given my recent comments about TRC's authors?  Well, simple really - our rhubarb plant was growing like the muscles of a Cold War-era olympian, and I needed to find a way to use some (other than stewed, which gets a bit boring).  So, without further ado, let them eat cake! 

Rhubarb Ginger Cake

180 g butter, at room temp
1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
300 g sour cream
3 - 5 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1cm pieces
150 g crystallised ginger, roughly chopped

For the topping

1/3 cup self-raising flour
40 g butter, chilled
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp nuts (almonds, macadamias, pecans, whatever)
extra ginger, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 180ÂșC.  Grease and line 22 cm springform cake tin. 
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  3. Mix flours and cinnamon together.  Sift half over cake mixture.  Add half sour cream.  Sift remaining flour.  Add remaining sour cream.  Gently stir until combined. 
  4. Fold through rhubarb and ginger.  Spoon into tin. 
  5. Place topping flour in bowl.  Rub butter into flour with fingertips. 
  6. Stir through remaining topping ingredients and sprinkle mixture over top of cake. 
  7. Bake for about an hour and a half - check it after an hour or so, and just keep going until skewer or knife blade come out clean.  Stand for ten minutes before removing from tin and leaving on cake rack to cool. 
  8. Serve with yoghurt or thick cream. 
NB: Apparantly Marie Antoinette actually said 'Let them eat brioche', rather than the infamous 'let them eat cake', but for my purposes I'm invoking some poetic license.  :) 

01 February 2012

but don't you, step on my blue cheese shoes

We went to the Narrows Landing for dinner the other night.  Fantastic food and service, warm summer night, eating on the terrace.  Can't ask for much better than that eh?  Something on their menu caught my eye upon arrival, so naturally had to try it.  Blue cheese and honey bruschetta - blue cheese and honey!?  None of us were too sure how that combo was going to go down, but figured with blue cheese, how wrong can you go?  OMG - amazing!!  The two flavours complimented each other perfectly.  If I were to be poetical about it, I'd say it was like a gastronomic symphony, a veritable feast for the tastebuds. 

Last night I decided to recreate it at home, using my favourite blue - Kapiti Kikorangi.  You'll need:

4 turkish buns, ciabatta buns, or 1 ciabatta loaf
olive oil
blue cheese
honey (I used manuka)

  1. Slice buns in half, as you would for burgers (if using loaf, slice nice thick slices, probably a cm thick).  Brush with olive oil. 
  2. Grill soft, oiled side of buns until browned.  Turn and grill underside a little, but not as much as soft side. 
  3. Spread liberally with blue cheese. 
  4. Drizzle with honey (soften in microwave if needs be).  If using a strong honey, like manuka, be careful not to drown the cheese too much. 
  5. Grill for a few minutes, until cheese is bubbling and honey has started to caramalise. 
  6. Set on serving plate and allow to sit for a minute or two before serving. 
PS: Sorry I forgot to take a photo - next time!