(Aside: The answer is always cake.)
I haven’t done much cooking since I returned from MN — appointments and goings-out and In N’ Out burgers disrupted my schedule — so I made a plan to bake this weekend. Initially, I thought I’d make bread pudding, which I’ve been craving something fierce, but then I read a blog post about rhubarb compote and my thoughts turned to that stalked veggie.
But I didn’t want to make compote. Compote is the sort of thing I love to prepare — it’s easy, and it makes me feel accomplished* — but that I don’t eat. Every time I open the fridge, I see it there, moldering in its Tupperware, and I feel guilty about wasting perfectly good rhubarb (and sugar, and water. Let us not forget the water.).
Instead, I searched for cake and muffin recipes; I wanted to bake something that would hold up for a few days so I could bring leftovers into work. Imagine my bummed-ness when epicurious turned up dozens of variations on cobblers, compotes, and fools, but only a few cakes (and no muffins).
No matter: I found a solid-looking cake recipe and went with it. Not gonna lie — it’s a little compote-y, but not overwhelmingly so. More importantly, it’s hardcore delicious: I had some for dinner, and then I had another slice for dessert.**What impressed me most was the cake’s light crumb. I had my doubts as I slipped the pan into the oven — the batter was ueber-thick (almost sticky), and I envisioned the cake emerging as a dense little brick punctuated by rhubarb cubes. I further envisioned myself scraping the ruined dessert into the compost bin, getting huffy, and then eating some fro-yo as consolation. As usual, I needn’t have worried: the baking process transformed the gunky batter into awesomely light yellow cake, airy and oh-so-slightly cinnamony. Eff yeah! Thanks, transformative process of cooking!
Unrelated to cake (but noteworthy nonetheless): I tried trout this weekend — and liked it. Seafood Plan 2011 is progressing way better than I anticipated(!) It helps that said trout was super buttery and topped with delicate cloves of garlic, but I consider this seafood appreciation a win.
**Don’t judge. This blog is a non-judgment zone.