rhubarb … & more!

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Long time, no see – or better: long time, no post.

What happened?
As you may have noticed about mid of March my better half & I, we made a weekend trip to Maastricht (fine weather, sunshine, having coffee outdoors … a perfect spring weekend!). Beginning of April we made a weekend trip to Strasbourg; unfortunately it was very cold w/ rain and some fine snow. Yes – we had managed to pick just this weekend when winter came back … (Nevertheless we had fun & enjoyed the city – and the food … cheeses & wine.)

In between my trusted working pal, aka my notebook, decided to need a time out & relaxed at a service point. (Now all is back in working, however, you know: it takes time to reinstall all your stuff …)

So I was busy, mainly behind the scenes – aka offline – planning blog renovation & new posts … as well as indulging in travel.

A highlight: I found rhubarb in my trusted food store. The rhubarb season started w/ delicious fine delicate rhubarb stems – all red. (I admit I like this fresh young rhubarb & its brilliant red color!)

So I spontaneously bought some rhubarb … & started thinking what to do with it. Of course the very 1st step is to cook the rhubarb & create some sort of rhubarb mess aka compote. After some roaming of the internet I stumbled about some ideas for cheesecake w/ fruit filling … so I decided to create a cheesecake w/ rhubarb – a flat affair which would end up in small mouth-watering squares.

In general we need:

  • pastry
  • cheesecake filling
  • rhubarb mess.

Below you get an idea of the basic ingredients: on the left it’s the pastry, on the right it’s the filling which will be completed by the eggs.

… & in the center: the rhubarb.

I started w/ the rhubarb mess.

After cleaning & trimming the rhubarb ends up in thin slices. I don’t peel the rhubarb because the young rhubarb at the beginning of the season doesn’t need any peeling. The slices march in a pot w/ some water – about 2 mm just covering the bottom. Sugar & vanilla sugar follow. Then all is brought to a boil & will simmer for about 10 min afterwards.

Ready.

(Of course I didn’t need all of the rhubarb mess. The leftovers were stored in the fridge to accompany yoghurt or so.)

I lined my square tin w/ baking parchment criss-cross using some drops of oil to keep the parchment on the bottom rest. in place. Later the cake will be lifted out of the baking tin by help of the baking parchment. So think of adjusting the baking parchment correspondingly.

All the ingredients for the pastry (flour, butter, sugar & vanilla sugar, a pinch of salt & some cold water) are kneaded until well combined. Form a ball, store in the fridge & start the oven: preheat the oven to 200° C fan.

As soon as the oven is ready distribute the pastry in the baking tin all over the bottom & bake for about 10 min. Then let it rest on your kitchen counter & reduce the oven to 170° C fan.

Now let’s prepare the cheesecake filling (curd cheese, mascarpone, sugar & vanilla sugar, eggs, some cornstarch) w/ a spoon resp. an egg whisk.

Finally the white mess is spooned into the baking tin – about half of it. Then add the rhubarb mess, finally the rest follows. They’ll swirl by themselves.

Let it bake for about 30 min at 170° C fan.

Let the cake cool down to room temperature. Then lift the cake carefully out of the baking pan by using the baking parchment.

Cut of the edges – it’s a 1st treat!

Finally cut the cake into 16 squares & enjoy the mix of cheesecake filling & fresh rhubarb. It’s best when stored in the fridge …

Enjoy!

rhubarb … & more!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 16 pieces
ingredients:
for the rhubarb mess:
  • 500 g rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar (2 packets)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • some water
for the pastry:
  • 160 g all-purpose flour
  • 80 g butter
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (1 packet)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tbsp cold water
for the filling:
  • 250 g curd cheese (20%)
  • 125 g mascarpone
  • 80 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (1 packet)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (or similar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g rhubarb mess
equipment:
  • baking tin (20 x 20 cm)
  • baking parchment
  • egg whisk
how to:
for the rhubarb mess:
  • 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 & the sugar & bring to a boil.
  • Let it simmer for about 10 min.
  • Reserve about 200 g of the rhubarb mess for the cake.
for the pastry:
  • Preheat the oven to 200° C fan.
  • Line the baking tin w/ baking parchment. Add some drops of oil to the bottom to fix the baking parchment.
  • Put all ingredients in a bowl, roll up your sleeves & start kneading until you get a fine pastry. Start w/ 1 tbsp of cold water – add a 2nd one if necessary (i. e. if the pastry seems too crumbly)!
  • Form a ball & leave it in the fridge until the oven is ready.
  • Distribute the pastry evenly in the baking tin w/ your hands & fingers (bottom only!). It doesn't matter if it's not perfectly even.
  • Bake the pastry for about 10 min at 200° C fan.
  • Take the baking tin out of the oven & let it rest.
  • Afterwards reduce the oven to 170° C fan.
for the filling:
  • W/ an egg whisk cream the curd cheese, the mascarpone, the sugars & the starch.
  • Add the eggs & whisk until all is very well incorporated.
  • Spoon about half of the filling into the baking tin all over the pastry. Add the rhubarb mess & afterwards the rest of the filling. They will mix by themselves.
  • Let it bake in the oven for about 30 min at 170° C fan.
  • Let the cake cool down to room temperature & lift out of the baking tin by help of the baking parchment. Cut off the edges of the cake (about 1 cm) & cut the cake into 16 squares (4 x 4).
Notes
Prep Time: Includes preparing the rhubarb mess (about 10 min preparation & about 10 min cooking).
Rhubarb: Work only w/ young red stems of rhubarb for the sake of the brilliant red color!
Rhubarb mess (1): My rhubarb mess isn’t sooo sweet! If you like, you may add more sugar.
Rhubarb mess (2): Store the leftovers in the fridge & enjoy w/ yoghurt or whatever for breakfast or whenever. (If you start w/ making rhubarb mess you may as well prepare somewhat more than you need for the cake …)
The cake is best when stored in the fridge. It’ll set a little in the cold (which makes it even more delicious).
Sorry: no experience w/ freezing!

(information on equipment)

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