Is it just me or has the first half of 2020 felt like it’s been 12 years long?
I think it’s felt like it has dragged on because everything is different. The economy, the environment, the mood…everything just seems so different. And, while everything around us is changing and it feels like uncertainty about so many things is enveloping us, some of us are paralyzed by all of it.
I’m not sure about any of you, but when I feel uncertain (and paralyzed), I spend a lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing. My mind wanders and getting things done seems like an enormous task. With my book just coming out, it has been hard to deal with everything going on…and it’s even been hard to feel happy about finally becoming an author.
I was in the garden yesterday and was picking some of my rhubarb. I realized that the only way to get out of a slump is to do something that makes you happy. For some it’s relaxing, for others it’s meeting a friend and for others it might just be going for a long walk. But for me, it has always been getting back in the kitchen. I know I should be posting about recipes from my cookbook (this time has made me realize what a bad businesswoman I am!!) but while I was picking my rhubarb, I thought I should find a recipe that is a bit nostalgic, very easy to make and uses something I’ve picked with my own hands. I realized that this is what would make me truly happy!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about recipes I have collected from some old spiral bound cookbooks that my mom had in her basement. When we were little, she use to make us “magic pudding cakes” that made this mysterious sauce as it cooked. So I created one with my fave summer combo…strawberry and rhubarb!
You literally dump the fruit in the bottom of a baking pan, spread the cake batter over top…
Sprinkle on a pile of sugar….
Pour over some boiling water…
Eh, voila!!! A beautifully tender cake with a magic fruit sauce is born!
Trust me when I tell you that making a beautiful dish that brings back childhood memories, is easy AND deeeelish is the way to get your groove back!
Strawberry Rhubarb Self Saucing Cake
If you want a slice of nostalgia, look no further!! The sugar topping creates a glaze on the top of the cake a bit like a creme brûlée. It also creates a "sauce-like" pudding at the bottom.
- 2 cups rhubarb chopped
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 3/4 cup sugar divided
- 1/3 cup butter softened
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/3 cup boiling water
Cover the bottom of an 9 x 13-inch baking pan with strawberries and rhubarb.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 cup sugar and butter, then add baking powder, salt, extracts, milk and flour together until creamy (you can add up to 2 tbsp more milk if it seems too thick); spread over fruit.
Mix remaining 1 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl; sprinkle over mixture in pan (this will seem like a lot of sugar but the sugar is what makes the pudding). Pour boiling water over the top (this sounds strange, but it works to create a pudding around the rhubarb and strawberries in the bottom of the pan.)
Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.