Rhubarb Rose Cake

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I’m going to be overseas this Mother’s Day. I won’t leave, however, without getting my Mother a bottle of bubbly and placing this cake in the fridge, promise, Mom. Thanks, Molly, for making me look good, in advance. ~Maggie

Mother’s Day is just a few days away and I always struggle with what to get. Flowers? Chocolate? Another scarf? All lovely, but they’ve all been done many times before.

What do Moms really want? Time with their children, of course. So this year, I’ve planned a little celebration with some bubbly, whipped cream, and this special cake.

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Thanks to spring’s much-anticipated arrival, some of my favorites are starting to pop up at the market including my very favorite, rhubarb.

Dreaming up ideas to pair with rhubarb was easy, but when I discovered these Moroccan dried rose buds, I knew I had found something special. Rose water and rose buds perfume dishes with a delicate, floral quality. The buds themselves are gorgeous and a beautiful, magenta color. They’re the perfect addition to my Mother’s Day cake.

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In an effort to keep this cake easy, transportable and manageable in every way, I used 6-inch cake pans for a dainty, small cake. Paired with some loose garden flowers and bubbly champagne, this cake makes a very festive spread for my Mom on her special day. This little cake conveys a lot of my appreciation, but most importantly, it allows a little time to share a toast, a conversation, and some good laughs.

Don’t want to hunt for special ingredients? That’s fine. Just swap the rose water for a handful of strawberries. If you aren’t able to get your hands on dried rose buds, feel free to garnish the cake with fresh, edible flowers instead.

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Rhubarb-Rose Cake

*Rose buds may be purchased at Kalustyans.

Serves: 8 slices

Ingredients:

For rhubarb-rose compote
  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose buds*, crumbled (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water
For the cake
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for the pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
For the frosting and assembly
  • 2 cups very cold, heavy cream
  • 3 to 4 rose buds*, for garnish

Directions:

For rhubarb-rose compote
  1. Place the rhubarb, sugar, and rose buds in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in rose water.
  2. Cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator, at least one hour or up to overnight.
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour 2 6-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the cake batter, then gently fold in remaining whites. Divide evenly between the two cake pans.
  4. Bake until lightly golden and a tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting and assembly
  1. Whip the cream until you have soft peaks.
  2. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread thickly with rhubarb compote leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cake (save any extra compote for yoghurt or toast.) Top with remaining cake layer.
  3. Using an offset spatula, decoratively spread the whipped cream all over the sides and top of the cake.
  4. Lightly crush rose buds and sprinkle over the top of the cake to garnish.
  5. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Cake is best served the day it is made.
Photos styled and taken by Lauren Volvo.

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.

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