Sunday, June 23, 2013

1-2-3-4 Lime Rhubarb Cake

Foodie hosted a wonderful dinner party to celebrate Mr. Foodie’s birthday. 

The table was beautifully set.
There were white lights in the trees and festive paper lanterns. 
We had the most succulent oysters for appetizers and, as the main course...
...the tenderest slow-roasted (two hours at 200°) filet of beef.
 Everything was just perfect but the pièce de résistance of the night...
... was most certainly the birthday cake that Foodie made.

Foodie’s birthday masterpiece was adapted from Martha Stewart’s 1-2-3-4 Lemon Cake recipe….and as we all know, I adore Martha.   Martha explains that “the name of this old-fashioned cake comes from the simple formula used for measuring the main ingredients: one cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour, and four eggs.”

Instead of the lemon curd the original recipe calls for, Foodie made a lime-rhubarb curd adapted from Tartine’s lemon curd recipe. Tartine is a bakery located in San Francisco’s Mission District.  Apparently there is a cookbook featuring the bakery’s coveted confections.  I feel an impending iPad download.

The ingredients in this cake might be 1-2-3-4 simple, but this cake is 10-star tasty!

1-2-3-4 Lime Rhubarb Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, May 1997

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Grated zest of two limes
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups Lime-Rhubarb curd (see recipe below)
Your favorite cream cheese rrosting
12 ounces assorted fresh berries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in center of oven. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with flour; tap out any excess.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating on medium speed until lightened, 3 to 4 minutes; scrape down sides once or twice. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating after each addition until batter is no longer slick, about 5 minutes; stop once or twice to scrape down sides.

On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, a little of each at a time, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in lime zest and vanilla.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes, then rotate the pans in the oven for even browning. Continue baking until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 10 to 20 minutes more. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool, 15 minutes. Turn out cakes; set on racks, tops up, until completely cool.

Remove the parchment from bottom of each cake. Using a serrated knife, slice each layer in half horizontally. Set aside the prettiest domed layer for the top of cake. Place another domed layer, dome-side down, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup curd over surface to within 1/2 inch from edges. Place second cake layer over the first, and spread another 1 cup curd over top. Repeat with third cake layer and remaining cup curd.

Ice the cake with your favorite cream cheese frosting.  Serve with mixed berries.

Lime- Rhubarb Curd
Adapted from Tartine’s Lemon Curd recipe

1 to 1 ½ cups of rhubarb
1/2 cup lime juice
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter

Chop rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and place in a small saucepan with enough water to cover the fruit. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until rhubarb is soft and you have a nice pink juice. Puree and strain through a sieve and let cool.

Pour about 2 inches of water into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.  Combine lime juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar and salt in a stainless steel bowl on top of a double boiler. Whisk ingredients constantly for 10-12 minutes until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180°F on a thermometer.   Take the bowl from over the water and stir from time to time to release the heat. Meanwhile, cut butter into 1 tbsp-pieces. When the cream is cool, using either a regular blender, or an immersion blender, add 1 piece of butter at a time to lime mixture, blending after each addition of butter. Blend in the pureed rhubarb.  The cream will be a pale, pretty opaque pinkish color, and quite thick.

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