Almond-Rhubarb Snack Cake- makes one 9-inch round cake
adapted from Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker
Steph’s Note: A half recipe bakes up nicely in a loaf pan. Just be sure to start checking it 10-15 minutes early, as it will take less time to bake.
For the Cake
1 ¾ cup (7 oz/200g) cake flour
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
1/8 t baking powder
4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 oz/200g) granulated sugar
½ t pure almond extract
½ t pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup (6 fl oz/180ml) well-shaken buttermilk
4 ½ oz narrow rhubarb stalks (about 3), trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices, to yield 1 cup packed
½ cup natural or blanched sliced almonds
For the Almond Topping
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T all-purpose flour
1 T heavy cream
½ cup (2 ¼ oz/65g) granulated sugar
½ cup (1 oz/30g) natural or blanched sliced almonds
-Before baking, centre a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan with 2 3/4- or 3-inch sides. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
-To make the cake: Have all ingredients at room temperature. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Add sugar in steady stream, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on medium speed until mixture is very light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Add the extracts during the final moments of mixing.
-With mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, about 3 T at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When mixture is fluffy, reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions alternately with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition only until incorporated. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of the bowl after each addition. Fold in the rhubarb slices and almonds with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly with the spatula.
-Bake the cake until a round wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out free of cake batter, 40-45 minutes.
-About 15 minutes before the cake is ready, begin making the Almond Topping: In a small saucepan, mix together the butter, flour, cream, and sugar and stir over low heat just until blended.
-About 10 minutes before the cake is ready, remove the cake from the oven, pour the topping mixture over it and sprinkle the almonds over the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the topping spreads over the cake and just begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
-Slowly release the springform clasp and carefully remove the pan sides. Let the cake cool on its base on the rack for 10 minutes longer. Then invert a wire rack on top of the cake, invert the cake onto it, and carefully lift off the base. Slowly peel off the parchment liner, turn it over so that the sticky side faces up, and reposition it on top of the cake. Invert another rack on top, invert the cake so it is right side up, and remove the original rack. Let cool completely.
-Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges with a sharp knife. Cover any leftover cake with aluminum foil and store at cool room temperature for up to 2 days.