rhubarb – cream – sponge

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We are now full in the rhubarb season … & I like to give you a recipe for an easy rhubarb dessert. (I admit that I posted this recipe years ago, but it hasn’t lost any of its deliciousness!) For this dessert rhubarb is transformed into rhubarb compote, which I often prepare in order to have 2-3 tablespoons together w/ banana & yoghurt for breakfast.

Around the Easter weekend there is always a mix of cooking & baking, family events & chances to relax. Especially the last option was very yummy for me … So I didn’t do … almost anything, but chilling w/ movies & books.

After the Easter break I was immediately back to earth & restarted working in the garden … Especially I was busy cleaning our wooden deck & all this garden furniture, which likes to attract a lot of dust & dirt conserved by humidity during winter season. I’m not fond of these activities using brooms & brushes, a high-pressure cleaner & lots of water, because as a rule temperature always will drop by some degrees when I decide to start working … & soon after starting water splashing I’m rather wet!

That’s why there is this reissue of an easy, but tasty rhubarb dessert … (no time for any new rhubarb dishes!)

My rhubarb dessert is simply made w/ sponge, mascarpone cream & rhubarb compote. It’s sumptuous for 4 people, a real deal for 6 – even 8 may get their fair share.

Let’s start w/ the sponge!

(Of course you may also rely on a ready-to-use sponge from your trusted food store or your trusted bakery … This will speed up the preparation a lot!)

Before starting don’t forget to preheat your oven to 170° C fan.

You’ll need:

  • icing sugar & vanilla sugar
  • eggs
  • all-purpose flour.

Grab your handheld electric mixer & whisk sugars & eggs until very foamy. Fold in the flour … it’s a runny mess now!

Line a baking tray w/ baking parchment & pour the sponge mess onto the baking tray. Level it … & put it in the preheated oven for about 12-14 min.

Watch the baking process … As soon as the sponge gets lightly brown & the edges turn upward it’s fine.

Let it cool on a cooling rack to room temperature & peel off the baking parchment. Then you may cut the sponge the way you’ll need it …

For the rhubarb compote just clean & trim the rhubarb; then cut the stems into thin slices. Put all the rhubarb in a pot w/ some water, add sugar & vanilla sugar … bring it to a boil & let it simmer for about 10min, until the rhubarb is soft & the compote is lazy.

Let it cool down to room temperature. The deep red color will come soon … provided you’ve used young slim red rhubarb stems.

(If you like rhubarb compote – I always cook a lot more than I need for a single meal – maybe you’ve still some in your fridge – this may also speed up the preparation of the dessert!)

Now the cream … you’ll need:

  • mascarpone
  • icing sugar
  • vanilla sugar
  • egg yolks & egg whites.

W/ an egg whip whisk the mascarpone & the sugars … add the egg yolks & whisk until all is well incorporated.

W/ your handheld electric mixed whip the egg whites until stiff & fold in. It’ll become a fluffy cream.

Always store the mascarpone mess in the fridge because of the raw eggs!!!

Last step in the process is the assembling.

  • Start w/ some sponge …
  • Add some rhubarb compote & some mascarpone cream …
  • Add another sponge layer …
  • Once again rhubarb compote …

… & finally the rest of the mascarpone mess.

If you happen to have some dark chocolate flakes in your pantry feel free to sprinkle them all over the dessert.

Enjoy!

rhubarb – cream – sponge
Prep Time3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6
ingredients:
for the sponge:
  • 75 g icing sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • a pinch of salt
for the rhubarb compote:
  • 500 g rhubarb (not trimmed!)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar (2 packets)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • some water
for the cream:
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (1 packet)
  • 3 eggs (separated)
for decoration:
  • 25 – 50 g dark chocolate flakes (optional)
equipment:
  • baking tray (35 x 40 cm)
  • electric hand mixer
  • egg whip
how to:
for the sponge:
  • Preheat the oven to 170° C fan.
  • Whisk eggs, sugar & vanilla sugar w/ your handheld electric mixer for several minutes until the mess is light, yellow & foamy.
  • Add the water.
  • Add the flour & combine carefully with a spoon. Don't tolerate any flour lumps!
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Pour the mixture in the baking tray & level it.
  • Bake it in the preheated oven for about 10 – 12 min. The sponge is ready when slightly brown & the edges start bending slightly upward.
  • Remove from the oven & put the sponge upside down on a cooling rack.
  • Let it cool for some minutes & peel off the baking parchment.
for the rhubarb:
  • Clean & trim the rhubarb; discard any wooden parts as well as all the leaves.
  • Cut the rhubarb into small slices (about 2 mm).
  • Add some water to a small pot (about 2 mm covering the bottom).
  • Add the rhubarb & all the sugar & bring to a boil.
  • Let it simmer for about 10 min. Afterwards the rhubarb should be soft & almost dissolved.
  • Let it cool down to room temperature.
for the cream:
  • Whisk the mascarpone, icing sugar & vanilla sugar w/ an egg whip.
  • Separate the eggs & add the egg yolks to the mascarpone mess.
  • Whisk the mascarpone mess until smooth.
  • Beat the egg whites w/ your handheld electric mixer until very stiff & add to the mascarpone mess. Fold in carefully.
  • Keep the mascarpone mess in your fridge.
for the finalization:
  • Divide the sponge according to your dessert bowl.
  • Cover the bottom of the bowl with sponge – may be broken into fragments.
  • Add a layer of rhubarb compote.
  • Add a layer of mascarpone mess.
  • Add another layer of sponge – cut like a fitting disk. Add another layer of rhubarb compote. Add a final layer of mascarpone mess.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate flakes.
  • Keep in the fridge (cold section) for at least 2 hours.
Notes
Concerning the sponge:
The baking time of 12 min is an average value. Maybe your sponge is ready after 10 min or maybe it’ll take 15 min (depending on your oven, how long the oven was preheated etc.) – just try & watch the sponge! (Forget about starting a long phone call with your best friend at this very moment.)
This recipe provides more than enough sponge for the anticipated dessert. Store the leftovers in a tin or in the fridge … for nibbling w/ some jam or whatever.
In order to speed up the sponge process you may also rely on any sponge, ready to use, of your trusted food store or trusted bakery.
Concerning the rhubarb compote:
Working w/ about 500 g fresh rhubarb will give you a generous amount of rhubarb compote.
Work only w/ young red stems of rhubarb for the sake of the brilliant red color! My rhubarb mess isn’t sooo sweet! If you like, you may add more sugar. 
Don’t get nervous when the rhubarb mess isn’t red at the beginning: the red color will come when the compote cools down to room temperature.
If you like rhubarb compote you may prepare more than you’ll need for the dessert – or maybe there is some rhubarb compote left from you last rhubarb rush.
Concerning time management:
For the sponge you’ll need about 30 min.
For the rhubarb mess incl. cooling down to room temperature it’ll be about 1 h.
For the mascarpone mess (aka cream) & the assembling of the dessert it’ll be about 30 min, however, there is the recommended cooling time of the dessert (2 h) on top. “Prep Time” covers the whole process, although assuming that you work efficiently.
Quantities:
The quantities of cream, sponge & rhubarb compote may vary according to the size of your bowl – & our preference. I used a bowl of 22 cm at the top (10 cm at the bottom) which was high enough for 6 layers. (You can do 3 layers, 6 layers or even 9 layers – if you like. However, you should adapt the quantities when drifting away from the original.)
Concerning the dessert:
We’re dealing with fresh, uncooked eggs! Take care of storing the dessert always in the fridge & consume asap.
After having mixed everything together the cream may seem a little runny … It is important to cool the cream to get a soft cream of the consistency of whipped cream. You can do this after having mixed the cream before assembling the dessert. Nevertheless it’s necessary to cool the dessert as soon as it’s done. I recommend at least 2 hours.
As you may have guessed now: the dessert isn’t for storage (because of the raw eggs). Nevertheless you may prepare the dessert 1 day before the planned consumption; in this case the dessert has to be stored in coolest part of the fridge all the time.

(information on equipment)

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