rhubarb (about 4 large stalks), roughly chopped into small pieces (about 1/4-inch big)
turbinado sugar (use less sugar if you want a more tart cake)
Zest of 1 orange
For the cake:
(4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
(3 5/8 ounces) rye flour
(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
packed brown sugar
Juice from 1/2 an orange, plus enough milk to equal 1 cup total of liquid
Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
In This Recipe
Make the compote. Combine all of the compote ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb has mostly broken down, the raisins are fat, and most of the liquid has absorbed. This can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes (or more) depending on heat of your burner and your impatience. If your mixture starts to get dry, add a small amount of water. When the compote is finished, set it aside and make the cake batter.
A note about the rhubarb compote: When I first made this at home, I cut the rhubarb stalks into 1/4- to 1/2-inch chunks and cooked the compote for 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered, so that most of the liquid evaporated. The texture was more jammy than soupy—it was thick and I had to rap the spoon with some force to transfer it onto the cake batter. If your compote looks liquidy but has been cooking forever, put it through a fine mesh strainer to separate any excess liquid.
And if your compote is still very liquidy, you might not want to use all of it on the cake—the excess moisture might make your cake gooey on the inside (which is delicious, but not to everyone's taste). In this case, use half of it.
Preheat the oven to 350° F and butter an 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour through salt.
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or creaming vigorously with a wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the almond extract and mix to incorporate.
With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Once it is just incorporated, add 1/2 of the orange juice and milk mixture. Add another 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk, and then the last of the flour. Mix just to combine.
Use a spatula to transfer the batter to the pan. Spoon the compote over top of the batter, then swirl it in, leaving some big compote clumps.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack, then turn it out onto a plate and then invert it once more. Serve it warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or at room temperature.
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.