The rhubarb season is full on its way, so now is the perfect time to use this soft pink vegetable. I absolutely love the slightly sour taste of these stalks and think they’re just made for this ricotta cake. Thy really lift the flavors of this sweet, moist tray cake with vanilla and add a little tang. Also, I find the pink stalks on top just make this cake so much prettier looking.
I baked a little cake for two persons, but the amounts are easily multiplied for a bigger version. The ricotta makes sure the cake won’t dry out and because of that; you can easily keep it for a day or two. I doubt it will keep that long though, because in my home this cake is always gone the same day. Pretty much guaranteed!
1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
2 heaping tbsp (35 g) butter
seeds from ½ vanilla bean (or a drop of good vanilla essence)
1/3 cup (80 g) ricotta
½ cup (60 g) self-raising flour*
1 rhubarb stalk, washed
extra: cake pan, size 4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm), lined with baking paper
* Self-raising flour is very common in the Netherlands and the UK. It can be replaced by the same amount of regular flour + ½ tsp baking powder.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
2. Keep 1 tablespoon of sugar behind and beat the remaining sugar with the butter and vanilla until creamy. I find this easiest to do in a food processor, but a hand mixer will work fine too. Add the egg and mix in the ricotta. Sift the flour over the batter and then quickly mix it in with a spoon.
3. Pour the batter in the prepared baking pan. Halve the rhubarb lengthwise and cut in pieces of 4 inch (10 cm), so they will fit in the cake pan horizontally. Push them a bit into the batter and sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of sugar. You may not use all the rhubarb.
4. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and done. Raise the oven temperature the last few minutes if your cake still looks very pale.
5. Leave to cool a little and serve with a dollop of cream or a spoonful of ricotta.