With its cross-hatch pattern, this ruby-red cake makes a striking finale to brunch. Spring through early summer is the ideal time to shop for fresh rhubarb (and harvest it from your garden). Choose long crisp stalks that are blemish-free.
- Prep time 45 minutes
- Total time 1 hour & 30 minutes
- Portion size 12 servings
Rhubarb Topping: Using ruler as guide, cut rhubarb into 54 to 63 strips, each about 2 1/2 inches long. In large bowl, toss together rhubarb, sugar and rum. Let stand at room temperature until softened, about 30 minutes. Mixture will turn syrupy.
Cake: Grease 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper; lightly grease parchment paper. Arrange rhubarb horizontally and vertically in bottom of pan to make grid of 9 alternating squares of 6 or 7 strips each. Pour leftover sugar mixture into small saucepan. Set aside.
Using paring knife, halve vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape out seeds. Set aside; discard pod.
In large bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, sour cream and vanilla seeds. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 2 additions of flour mixture and 1 of buttermilk. Scrape over rhubarb, smoothing batter to edges of pan.
Bake in 350°F oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate: remove parchment paper. Let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.)
Meanwhile, gently boil reserved sugar mixture until thick, about 10 minutes. Brush over top of cooled cake to glaze.
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Fibre 1 g
- Sodium 142 mg
- Sugars 29 g
- Protein 4 g
- Calories 282
- Total fat 10 g
- Potassium 141 mg
- Cholesterol 56 mg
- Saturated fat 6 g
- Total carbohydrate 41 g
- Iron 7
- Folate 13
- Calcium 7
- Vitamin A 10
- Vitamin C 3