BY KATHERINE MACNAUGHTON AND KIM MATURO
The Foodie Collective has great news! We have joined Canadian Living’s blogger network and will be reviewing recipes for them along with other food bloggers. As our first assignment, we were asked to try out their April cover recipe: Layered Strawberry Rhubarb Trifle. Pretty sweet, right? (bad pun definitely intended) With a $25 grocery allowance, which was right on target, Kim picked up nearly all the necessary ingredients and came over for a fruitful evening (get it?) of cooking and catching up. First things first, visit Canadian Living to view the full recipe and instructions. Overall, this recipe was fun and easy to make, though it did take quite a bit of time and we had to make a few amendments.
Amendment #1: It is nearly impossible to find fresh rhubarb in the middle of winter. Kim tried 3 grocery stores and even the frozen aisle sections, with no luck. Instead, she purchased a jar of Bonne Maman rhubarb preserve (how curious that it’s not listed on their site), which we decided to make into a coulis by adding fresh orange juice and a splash of rum. The coulis is a great way to moisten and add flavour to the cake.
1 jar or 250 g of Bonne Maman rhubarb preserve
Juice of 1 large orange
1/4 cup of rum
1. In a saucepan over low heat, warm the rhubarb preserve until it melts a little.
2. Incorporate the fresh orange juice and rum and heat for a minute or two. Set aside to cool.
3. During assembly, always drizzle the coulis directly on top of the cake before adding the strawberries and custard.
Amendment #2: In lieue of vanilla bean, which we forgot to purchase, we used a tbsp. of vanilla extract. If you have vanilla bean, I would definitely use that instead as its flavour is more powerful and the black seeds add a little pizzaz to the custard.
Amendment #3: In the recipe, they recommend using either a package of golden vanilla cake or vanilla pound cake. We used Betty Crocker’s vanilla cake mix and were a little disappointed with the prefab taste, though it was light and absorbed the coulis nicely. Next time, we will use a vanilla yogurt cake recipe, which is more moist and richer tasting. Besides, cake made from scratch just tastes better. Maybe it’s the love that goes into it?
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan that’s at least 2″ deep; for extra protection against sticking, line the pan with parchment, and grease the parchment.
2. Beat together the sugar and butter until thoroughly combined.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each. After you’ve added the second egg, beat at high speed for 2 minutes; the batter will lighten in colour and become fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla, almond extract, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, stirring to combine.
5. Starting and ending with the flour, alternately add the flour and yogurt to the mixture: 1/3 of the flour, half the yogurt, 1/3 of the flour, the remaining yogurt, and the remaining flour. Beat gently to combine after each addition. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly.
6. Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown on top, the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
7. After 10 minutes, turn the cake out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
The best part of making this dessert was the assembly (who doesn’t like playing with food?). There’s no wrong way to do it. Just alternate your layers and presto! you have a gorgeous, festive dessert ready for sharing (or not). Grab your spoon and dig right in! You will first taste creamy and airy whipped cream, followed by rum and coulis-soaked cake, then zesty and unctuous custard punctuated by bright and juicy bites of strawberry. Repeat and enjoy. I know we will.
For more reviews of this recipe click here.