Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Here in Switzerland, everything is about 3 weeks early. It. Is. Summer. * Squeal*

Along with the early summer comes a variety of early garden favorites like beautiful crispy lettuce and my long lost baking buddy, rhubarb. Rhubarb and me go way back. I liked to pick the mysterious sour stalks of pink and green as a little girl and dip them in sugar with my “Poppa”. When we had picked too much my Nanny would cook it, and make an awesome stewed rhubarb that was great on morning toast or ice cream. I wanted to try something new with rhubarb though, so I went out and got a stalk from the garden, and decided to make a strawberry rhubarb cake of sorts.

I like this cake because it’s sliceable and still has that “crumble” feel that I’m so fond of. I love how each bite has a beautiful combination of cinnamon-sugar and sweet and tangy strawberry-rhubarb. The crumble topping really puts this recipe over the top. It’s gorgeously matched and gives this moist cake a nice light crunch.

To begin, preheat your oven, grease and flour your pan, and grab a medium bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a large mixing bowl, beat together 6 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar until creamy, about 1 minute.

Throw in your egg yolks and vanilla. Here I’m just separating the whites from the yolks and putting the whites into a bowl for breakfast tomorrow :)

Beat until combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk until combined, about 1-2 minutes.

Spread cake batter evenly into prepared pan.

Top batter with strawberries and rhubarb. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the crumb topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, and 4 tablespoons butter; knead together using fingertips or a fork until well combined and mixture starts to clump together. Keep in freezer until ready for use. When cake has baked 20 minutes, top evenly with crumb mixture. Continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached.

Cool for 30 minutes before running a knife around outside edges. Remove cake from pan and cool on a rack.

This is delightful. I had a huge slice!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Recipe taken from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients:
Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 cup sliced strawberries
2/3 cup finely chopped rhubarb

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 1 (9-inch) round cake pan or an 8 x 8 inch square pan (I used this).
2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together 6 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar until creamy, about 1 minute; beat in yolks and vanilla until combined.
4. Gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk until combined, about 1-2 minutes.
5. Spread cake batter evenly into prepared pan. Top batter with strawberries and rhubarb. Bake for 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the crumb topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, and 4 tablespoons butter; knead together using fingertips or a fork until well combined and mixture starts to clump together. Keep in freezer until ready for use.
7. When cake has baked 20 minutes, top evenly with crumb mixture. Continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool for 30 minutes before running a knife around outside edges. Remove cake from pan and cool on a rack.

*Photos taken mostly by Alicia Leroux (thanks Alicia)!

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Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter

I have now been in Switzerland for a week running around like crazy, and trying to get organized. My work day is from 8 to 5:30, but with marathon training and morning exercises in between I find it hard to get anything done. This weekend I had some time to myself so I went to the grocery store only to find that it didn’t have peanut butter. I was confused, but upon asking a local (in my very bad French) I learned that the Swiss don’t really eat peanut butter. You can get it in some specialty stores, but it’s not common at all. WEIRD!

In North America people go crazy for it, and when they can’t have it they go nuts for peanut butter substitutes like sunbutter or almond butter (which are both amazing as well). I am one of those typical North American’s that also love the stuff. Before leaving for Switzerland I made my own peanut butter often, and tried this white chocolate variation from How Sweet It Is. It’s a must try!

To begin, grab some high quality dry roasted peanuts.

Add peanuts to a food processor and blend until a thick nut butter forms. Stream in oil and vanilla with the processor on, continuing to run it until the mixture is smooth (about 3-4 minutes). You can add more oil if needed, but in small increments. Turn off processor, add melted chocolate, and turn processor back on. Blend until smooth.

Try it out on some yummy whole wheat toast, and enjoy! I miss this stuff.

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter
Recipe from How Sweet It Is
Makes about 3/4 cup

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dry, roasted peanuts (I used salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup white chocolate chips/chunks/bars, melted

Directions:
1. Add peanuts to a food processor and blend until a thick nut butter forms. Stream in oil and vanilla with the processor on, continuing to run it until the mixture is smooth (takes about 3-4 minutes). You can add more oil if needed, just do it in small increments.
2. Turn off processor, add melted chocolate, and turn processor back on. Blend until smooth.

You can keep this peanut butter at room temperature for a week, but refrigerate it if you want to keep it for a few weeks.

Warm Vanilla Sugar in Switzerland

Things have changed a bit for me lately. I moved to Switzerland, left my beautiful kitty behind with the boy (who will be joining me in May), and started a new job studying insects. I’m excited to begin this journey though, and I’m looking forward to learning new Swiss recipes to share with you guys! Beginning with chocolate – check out the grocery store isle’s here!!

Last summer when I visited Switzerland I posted about two traditional Swiss meals – Swiss Cheese Fondue and Raclette. The main ingredient in both recipes? Cheese of course.

Things are a bit different here in Switzerland. When I want a giant tub of peanut butter to make Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, or Buckeyes, I can’t just run to the nearest Superstore and buy it! Everything here is closed on Sundays and stores usually close in between 4 and 7pm every day. So, I have to use what I have on hand. I’m really excited to see what I come up with, but in the meantime, have you seen this cake by Sprinkle Bakes? I’m in love.