i love this post – although i’m well aware i say that about every post, but post are like your children you can never just choose one – although my mom did one time!
this was my very first time trying rhubarb, despite its instagram fame, rhubarb – first – seemed too hard to find at my grocer and second – looked like it was difficult to deal with; so this was my first time dealing with it and i’m not going to say it won’t be the last simply because they are very seasonal and still a bit difficult to find. i will say however the smell when they are roasted is rank as fuck! if one thing nearly deterred me from this recipe it was that smell! no bueno!
the cake portion is a sponge cake and is dense to counteract the soft mousse filling – once again – i like texture and as i still have all my teeth i’d like to continue to use them!
another thing you may notice is that it’s not “rhubarb color” – i realized that too – the curd – which still needed lemon juice in it – is more of a mango shade! the pale-yellow of the lemon juice, red of the rhubarb, and the bright yellow of the egg yolks just makes for a oranges-ish curd; then taking into account that the off white cream cheese (i don’t know how to describe cream cheese; maybe its just white) and the white of the heavy cream – well colors will get diluted and the orange then turned into off white! but nonetheless this is a rhubarb cake!
when it comes to making the curd – i thoroughly encourage you to use a cheesecloth to strain the liquid mixture; when you make the liquid mixture of lemon juice and roasted rhubarb its fairly thick – not too thick – and smooth but still with some texture; this will leave you with the same type of curd and when you strain it, it will then just become a mess. using a cheese cloth will ensure you only get the liquids and a smooth velvety texture. side note: why do we call it a velvety texture – who even eats velvet!
i decided to stray away from my normal meringue method – i found that no matter how slowly i added the sugar sometimes it would be just a little too grainy for me, so i opted to try the italian method and it’s now going to be my go to! it’s thick and “velvety” and has a lot more substance than my old technique. i also found that it torched nicely and just – i don’t know – it much better than the old technique, but i did leave very detailed instruction for the entire recipe if anyone feels that this might be just too much!
lastly – i also encourage you to get a torch for your meringue. while you could use a broiler, it could melt the mousse filling and that’s just something you don’t want to risk. it’s also fun! i felt like a total badass – which proves i don’t do much badass activities – with my at home mini torch. i got mine from bed, bath and beyond – click here – and it also came with little crème brule cups too so you get some bang for your buck. you’ll also need butane which is a pain in the arse to find here where i live – but it’s available at walmart, home depot and walgreens. i hope you all enjoy the remainder of your day and week and thanks for stopping by!
RHUBARB CREAMSICLE MERINGUE CAKE
5 eggs |270 g|
1 c. |200 g| sugar
1 1/4 c. |175 g| flour
1 tsp. |4 g| baking powder
1/4 tsp. |8 g| fine sea salt
1/2 c. |115 g| unsalted butter |1 stick| (melted & cooled)
1 tsp. |5 g| vanilla paste
1 c. |100 g| roasted rhubarb
4 lemons (juiced) ~ 1/2 c. |4 oz.| |115 g|
1/3 c. |65 g| sugar
4 egg yolks |80 g|
3 tbsp. |45 g| butter
1 recipe of rhubarb curd (see above)
4 oz. |115 g| |1/2 c.| cream cheese
1 c. |240 g| heavy cream
1 c. |200 g| sugar
1/2 c. |4 oz.| |115 g| water
4 room temperature egg whites |140 g| |4.92 oz. ~ 5 oz.|
Slice of lemon
Candy Thermometer (can find here)
Medium size to large sauce pan
8×8 in. cake pan
Preheat your oven to 350F. Dice your rhubarb into 1 inch slices and in a medium size bowl mix in 2 tsp. vanilla sugar and 1 tsp. lemon zest, mix all of your ingredients today and pour it into your aluminum foil and close your foil and rest it onto your sheet pan. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes and then let it rest for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
In your food processor add half of your roasted rhubarb and pulse together until combined, add your other half and pulse again, then set it aside. In a separate bowl add your lemon juice and mix until it is a thinner liquid, strain to get any possible chunks out – you may/will need cheesecloth for this. This will ensure a smooth velvet curd. Measure out 1/4 c. of juice and set it aside to proceed to make your curd.
Roasted Rhubarb Curd:
In a small to medium size sauce pan, add about 1 to 2 inches of water and let the pan come to a boil. In a small to medium size metal bowl combine all of your curd ingredients.
Once the water is at a boil, over medium heat, take the metal bowl and place it on top of the sauce pot (warning: you want to make sure the water does not touch the pot; you want indirect heat, the steam should do the cooking). With a whisk, continuously stir your curd mixture until it has thicken, this should take about 5 to 10 minutes. (helpful hint: use a spoon to dip it into the curd, with your finger wipe through the middle of the spoon, if the curd stays separated then it is thick enough).
(fiy: a double boiler is not always an option as you need to have a metal bowl and a sauce pan that will also fit the bowl, if you can’t use the double boiler method, then simply use the small sauce pan: over low heat, cook the curd mixture and carefully watch it, it should take a shorter amount of time, but you should also sieve it to make sure that there are no cooked egg clumps in the curd mixture.)
Once the curd is done, in a sieve, strain the curd into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming and let it cool to room temperature.
*this curd will not be red sadly. The yellow of the yolks and the red juice will ensure that you have an orange curd; I preferred to leave it without coloring and in its natural state, but if you want you can add a drop or two of red food coloring gel (not liquid) to make it more red.
Turn oven at 325F/165C and make sure to adjust your oven rack to middle position. Spray your pan with butter flavored cooking spray and with a pastry brush make sure the entire pan is coated with the spray, then lightly coat the spray layer with flour to the pan making it coat the entire pan again to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
Sift your flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl and whisk together to mix.
With an electric mixer on medium speed (3 if your mixer has numbers), add your first egg and your orange zest and start mixing, you want beat the eggs one by one on a medium speed, for about 45-60 seconds after each egg addition – your mixture won’t be very thick, but it should have some slight thick movement to it –, once all your eggs have been added, slowly add the sugar as in a light dusting, until all sugar is incorporated. – once again your mixture won’t be terribly thick, but it will be thicker than it was with just the eggs – The egg mix will be very fluffy and turning a light yellow; slowly add the melted butter and then the vanilla, keeping the mixer running in low (about 2 on a mixer with numbers) this will make the egg mixture a lot thicker.
With a spatula, add the flour in batches and mix until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX and do not add too much at one time, this should take about 5 transfers of flour to egg mixture. Transfer batter to your prepared pan and using an offset spatula to even out the batter. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until cake looks light golden or a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake.
Remove the cake, let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then transfer to a wired rack to cool completely.
In a medium to large size bowl, take your room temperature cream cheese and with a hand mixer spread it out. With a spatula, add your rhubarb curd to it and set it aside.
In another medium size bowl, take your cold heavy cream – it also helps to have the bowl cold as well, set it aside in the freezer for about 30 minutes before this step – and whip it until it’s thick on medium speed, about 5 minutes.
Take a small amount of your heavy cream, about a dollop, and fold it into your rhubarb spread, this is mainly to loosen up your spread even more, the continue to add more of your whipped cream and folding it in lightly and carefully, you want to make sure it doesn’t take more than 3 or 4 folds to mix in each combination or it will deflate the whipped cream. Once all of your cream is added to your rhubarb set it aside in the fridge.
Take your cooled cake and cut it in half – it helps to use a cake slicer, but it’s also no worries if yours is a slightly off angle, it is homemade after all. Once your cake has been sliced, add your rhubarb filling onto the bottom half of your sliced cake and then layer on the top half of your cake.
*if you want to make sure everything fits perfectly and evenly: take some plastic wrap and line the inside of your cake pan, add your bottom layer of your cake back inside the cake pan, layer on your rhubarb filling and then add the top layer of your cake*
Place your cake back inside the fridge to set for 45 minutes, or until you’re ready to eat it. **Only add the meringue topping when you’re ready to eat your cake**
In a small saucepan, combine your sugar and water and over high heat bring your sugar to 240F on a candy thermometer. You can to make sure your sugar doesn’t crystalize so with a wet pastry brush continue to brush down the sides of the pot whenever you see sugar crystalizing around the rim.
While the sugar is cooking, when it reaches 160F, start your egg mixture. You want to take a metal bowl and use your slice of lemon and clean it with it. This will take any extra fat and grease off the bowl ensuring that you have a perfect fluffy Italian meringue. *if you don’t have a lemon, take a drip of white vinegar and use that inside; make sure that your bowl is dry afterwards*
Add your egg whites and mix, on medium-high, your egg whites with your hand/stand mixer until firm peaks form – this should take about 4 to 8 minutes.
Once your sugar has reached the proper temperature, carefully take it off the heat and, once again carefully and slowly, drizzle your hot sugar into your egg yolk, with the mixer still running. When all of the sugar mixture has been added to the egg yolk, turn your speed up to high and whip until your meringue has doubled (or tripled) in size and relative stiffness has been achieved.
Take your cake out of the fridge, out of the cake pan and onto your cake stand; with an offset spatula add your meringue topping in your preferred way. Once the desired look has been achieved either using a torch or the broiler setting on your oven, toast up your meringue topping. Because there is a soft cream in the middle, I do recommend either using a torch primarily, or very quickly and lightly using the broiler. If it’s in there more than 30 seconds the inside will become too soft and melt. *I very much encourage a blow torch*
downloadable recipe: RHUBARB CREAMSICLE MERINGUE CAKE