Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simple Vanilla Cake with Strawberry/Rhubarb Compote

I had beautiful rhubarb plants in Connecticut that I truly miss this time of year.  I loved watching them sprout up, knowing those ruby red stalks would create such wonderful pies, jelly, buckles, etc.  I did find some local organic stalks in our Whole Foods and decided they would be great combined with strawberries for a compote over a basic vanilla cake.  The cake itself may be simple, but I have a different technique to share and I exchanged the usual milk for a container of Greek Gods - Greek Yogurt-Honey Flavor.

Simple Vanilla Cake with Strawberry/Rhubarb Compote

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 6 oz. container Greek Gods-Greek Yogurt/Honey flavored

Preheat oven to 400F-degrees
Lightly coat an 8-inch cake pan with butter, then, dust with flour.  Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt and pour into the mixing bowl of your KitchenAid.  Using the paddle attachment, beat in butter, about 1/2 tsp. at a time, until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Next, beat in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time until, this time, the mixture resembles fine damp sand.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the vanilla to the yogurt and beat into the mixture on high, just until blended.  Do not over beat.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean--28 to 30 minutes. 

Cool cake in the pan for five minutes.  Unmold and cool completely.  This cake is wonderful by itself, but there so many options.  You can split it in half and add your favorite jam, then, just dust the top with confectioners' sugar.  Or fill the center with pastry cream and make a chocolate glaze and you have a Boston Cream Pie.  Of course, like I did, use fruit that is in season to make a delicious compote.

Strawberry/Rhubarb Compote
3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups strawberries, cut in half, or in quarters if really large
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 T cornstarch

Place prepared fruit in a sauce pan.  Add sugar and water and stir together.  Heat on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Lower temperature to a simmer and cover.  Cook 7-10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.  Remove lid and ladle out about 1/4 cup of the juice.  Whisk in the cornstarch until blended.  Add back to the fruit mixture and stir to combine.  Cook 5 minutes longer or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.  
To serve dessert, place a wedge of the cake on a plate, add a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream, and ladle the compote over the cake.  Enjoy!


  1. Hi Susan! I just found your blog, I should have looked for it sooner!! I'll put a link to it on mine. I am still making the flowers, the hydrangea is my favorite. Looking forward to another class. And I will try your recipies, they look so scrumptous (sp?). Now off to explore them!

  2. Dear Susan

    First of all, I would like to let you know that Kelly has been actively in our positive thoughts over this last while. I hope sincerely that she is feeling better...

    I have just recently watched "Julie and Julia" and you were the first person that came to mind..I just had to come over and visit today. I know your blog will be of great help to my daughter Brogan. She is definitely following in her great grandfathers footsteps. He was a master baker. Her desire and wonderful energy around the kitchen is catching.

    Your wonderful book has been oogled over time and again. We have a very long nation wide holiday due to the 2010 soccer world cup taking place in South Africa in June. I am gathering ideas and crafts for the children and paper flowers are first on the list. I think I am going to start with making flowers for cards. Homemade cards are always the best. I received a card the other day with small paper flowers on it with a beautiful paper owl and bird sitting in a paper tree...I would like to see what we come up with. We will definitely share these moments. Would it be ok if I posted your book on my blog Susan?

    Have a wonderful day and happy baking!

    Warm regards