Ravishing Rhubarb and Raspberry Pudding Cake

Where oh Where Are You??

I whined last time about the lack of strawberries around these parts.  Truth is, I have had this year’s first strawberry shortcake and even made a batch of Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps to pair with strawberries and Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese for a special wedding last weekend (oh my god).  However, today was my day off, and I really wanted to bake up a strawberry-rhubarb something (I thought about it all through my morning yoga class) and there was NOT A LOCAL STRAWBERRY TO BE FOUND.  Granted, it was rainy, miserable berry-harvesting weather.  And I certainly wasn’t going to go and do anything drastic like pick my own or anything.  So I hauled out a bag of frozen raspberries, sliced up some lovely pink rhubarb, and tweaked a recipe I found in a Canadian Living cookbook (which, good news,  I won this week having stuffed Molly’s Brownie fundraiser ballot box with tickets I was forced to purchase because let’s face it I suck at fundraising and it’s June and I’ve given up my thin veneer of being a perfectly organized mother and am even sending my kids to school with *gasp* pre-packaged snacks this week and they’re lucky they have clean socks to wear even if they don’t match).

Although this was not what I had in mind as I down-dogged and tree-posed, I was more than happy with how it turned out.  Raspberries and rhubarb are a wonderful pair (am I the last to find out?),  so much so that I am now planning to freeze some rhubarb for raspberry season!

I don’t know about you, but to me there is no sweeter word pairing than “pudding” and “cake”.  Unless it’s “summer” and “vacation”.  Or “strawberry” and “rhubarb”.  But that will have to wait.

Raspberry Rhubarb Pudding Cake
(adapted from Canadian Living Everyday Favourites)

Let’s talk about flour for a moment, because this originally called for all-purpose and you know me, I can’t help but try to sneak in at least some whole wheat.  But whole wheat flours vary widely in texture and this can have some serious repercussions on the lightness of baked goods.  So I recommend a whole wheat flour that has had some of the bran removed, like Speerville Whole White or President’s Choice Organic Whole Wheat Flour.

4 C. Frozen Raspberries, thawed (a 600g package will do nicely)
2 C. Thinly Sliced Rhubarb
1/3 C. Sugar plus 1/4 C. Sugar

Cake Part:
1/2 C. Butter, softened
3/4 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 t. Vanilla
3/4 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 t. Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
1/2 C. Milk

Preheat the oven to 350.  Drain raspberries, reserving juice.  In a buttered 8″ square baking pan, combine the drained raspberries, rhubarb and 1/3 C. sugar.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.  Beat in the eggs.  Combine the flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and add to butter mixture alternately with the milk starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Scrape evenly over the raspberry-rhubarb mixture.  Bring the reserved juice to a boil with the remaining 1/4 C. sugar and pour this over the batter.  Bake until the cake is firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.  Serve warm, making sure to top each serving with the raspberry rhubarb sauce underneath.

This 1950s KitchenAid Mixer was my grandmother’s
Have faith, this looks weird but it’s right!