We were intrigued, if skeptical, about trying this dessert of rhubarb, caramel, and rosemary from Brock Windsor, chef-owner of Stone Soup Inn in Vancouver Island's Cowichan Valley in B.C. But the unusual combo bowled us over. Though the recipe is time intensive, nothing is difficult.
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-in. slices (2 cups)
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 ounces good-quality white chocolate such as Callebaut, chopped
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 rosemary sprig (5 in.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 pound rhubarb, split lengthwise and cut into 2-in. pieces
Preheat oven to 350°. Make cake: Butter a 9-in. round pan or 8 (1-cup) ramekins and line with parchment paper or waxed paper cut to fit. Butter the paper. In a bowl, toss rhubarb with 3 tbsp. granulated sugar. Spoon evenly into pan or ramekins; if using ramekins, set on a rimmed baking sheet.
Melt chocolate in a small metal bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking until smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Let cool.
Beat butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a bowl with a mixer until fluffy. Add egg whites and vanilla and beat until well blended. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Beat flour mixture into egg mixture half at a time, alternating with milk, until smooth. Stir in chocolate.
Spread batter evenly over rhubarb. Bake cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean, 28 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan or ramekins about 30 minutes.
Make sauce: Heat cream and rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form at edge of pan, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard rosemary.
Stir granulated sugar with lemon juice and 2 tbsp. water in a 12-in. frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat, occasionally picking up pan and swirling mixture around sides to wash down sugar crystals, until deep golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat, add cream (it will bubble up), and whisk until smooth. Scrape sauce into a serving bowl.
Make compote: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring brown sugar, 1/3 cup water, and the rhubarb to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Loosen cake from sides of pan or ramekins with a small metal spatula. Invert pan onto a platter (or invert ramekins onto dessert plates) and remove paper. For cake on platter, cut into wedges and transfer to plates. Using a slotted spoon, spoon compote and some syrup on cake. Spoon some sauce next to cake and serve the rest on the side. Serve with chamomile ice cream.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Stone Soup Inn in Vancouver Island's Cowichan Valley in B.C.
Yum! This was my first time baking with rhubarb and this cake came out so delicious! The sauce turned out to be more of a glaze than sauce so maybe it could've been cooked longer or that's just how it is. Either way a very tasty cake.