The last few weeks have been quite eventful for me and I can’t wait for the beginning of the summer break. In such exciting and hectic times it’s nice if something works out without much effort or any trouble, as was the case with this improvisational recipe, which resulted in a not only edible but delicious vegan rhubarb and hazelnut cake. It is sweetened only with raw cane sugar and rice syrup and contains (soy) yogurt instead of eggs and olive oil instead of butter. The rhubarb is roasted for a few minutes first, so it becomes a little sweeter, even though I really like the special slightly sour taste of rhubarb.
A little update: there are different views when it comes to peeling rhubarb, or not. Generally, the younger, pinkish, slim stalks don’t need to be peeled – I didn’t peel the rhubarb here and it was ok. But if you’re using the greener, older and thicker stalks you may want to peel them (e.g. with a potato peeler) or at least make sure to pull off the strings that come off when trimming the ends, so they’re easier to eat.
- About five large stalks of fresh rhubarb, tops and bottoms trimmed (note: you may have to peel the rhubarb if it's too stringy)
- Rice syrup
- 190 g (1½ cups) wheat or spelt flour
- 30 g (1/4 cup) ground hazelnuts + 2 tablespoons
- A pinch of salt
- 100 g (a bit more than half a cup) raw cane sugar plus 4 tablespoons
- ½ packet of baking powder (about one teaspoon)
- 140 g (a little more than half a cup) soy or regular yogurt
- 60 g or 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 tablespoons of water
- A little caster sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F). Cut the rhubarb in slices lengthwise and two or three times crosswise. Spread them out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle generously with rice syrup. Roast the rhubarb in the oven for about ten minutes, then take it out and let it cool off.
- Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and hazelnuts in a bowl. Add olive oil and yogurt and mix everything well, then add the water spoon by spoon until the dough is no longer chunky but soft.
- Pour the dough into a cake form lined with parchment paper and straighten the top. Sprinkle four tablespoons of raw cane sugar on the cake and two tablespoons of hazelnuts.
- Then spread the rhubarb slices on the cake, arranging them in a star pattern. Sprinkle the center with a little more hazelnuts and drizzle a little rice syrup all over the cake.
- Bake the cake at 180 degrees (350F) for about 50 minutes. You can test the doneness by inserting a knife into the cake, it will be ready when the knife comes out clean.
- You can dust the cake with a little caster sugar before serving.