Spring is here, the season of renewal, when fresh and vibrant produce makes its way to our tables. One such ingredient is spring rhubarb, a bright and tart stalk that is perfect for adding a little zing to any dish. Today, we will talk about using spring rhubarb in a Rhubarb, Spelt and Orange Blossom Cake – a delightful dessert that is both delicious and healthy.
First, let’s talk about the benefits of using spelt in this cake. Spelt is an ancient grain that is packed with nutrients and has a lower glycemic index than standard wheat flour. It is also easier to digest, making it a great choice for those with digestive issues. When used in cakes and baked goods, spelt flour imparts a nutty and wholesome flavour, which pairs well with the tartness of rhubarb. Infact I use it in quite a few of my bakes. It’s especially good in this Warm Blueberry, Coconut & Spelt Cake.
There’s something special about using herbs and flowers in baked goods. They add a unique flavour and aroma that can elevate any dessert to the next level. One combination that works particularly well is orange blossom and thyme.
Orange blossom water is made from the petals of the bitter orange tree and has a distinct floral flavour.
Orange blossom and thyme are two ingredients that are often used in savoury dishes, but they also work surprisingly well in sweet recipes. Thyme, on the other hand, is a herb with a slightly earthy and minty taste. When combined, they create a complex and delicious flavour profile that is perfect for desserts.
- Don’t over whip the eggs, sugar and butter. If it begins to split, stop the machine and fold in the flour.
- Substitute thyme with rosemary.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE FOR RHUBARB, SPELT AND ORANGE BLOSSOM CAKE?
I would love to know how it turned out. Please let me know by commenting below. Or you could snap a photo and share and tag it on Instagram @nordickitchenstories.
Rhubarb, Spelt and Orange Blossom Cake
- 23cm cake tin.
- 180 g forced rhubarb
- 30 g golden caster sugar
- 1 small orange, juice only I used a blood orange
- 1-2 tsp orange blossom water
- a few lemon thyme sprigs standard thyme will work too
- 175 g unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature, plus more for the tin
- 190 g white spelt flour
- 60 g wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 180 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 80 ml whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 160°C fan. Butter a 23cm tin and line the base with baking parchment.
- Place the rhubarb with the caster sugar and orange juice in a small baking tin cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until just tender. Pour the juices in a small saucepan, then add the orange blossom water & thyme. Heat and reduce until syrupy. Add more orange blossom water to taste if needed. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, into a large bowl. In another large bowl, using a hand-held electric whisk, or in a food mixer, beat the sugar, cooled melted butter, eggs and vanilla until thick and creamy; this will take a few minutes on high speed. Once it's pale and creamy, with a large spoon, fold in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Don't over-mix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, then place the rhubarb on the surface, pushing some of it down into the cake batter, bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the tin for about 10 minutes, then remove and brush with the orange syrup. Serve warm from the oven, with a bowl of crème fraîche or Greek yogurt. (Can be gently reheated if you want to serve it as a dessert).