rhubarb lemon almond loaf

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! 

That’s right … it’s rhubarb season!

I heart heart HEART rhubarb. 

It’s tart and fresh …

It screams spring is finally here

My mouth salivates just thinking about it.

Add to it some lemon curd and almonds … and you have yourself the makings of a pretty darn delicious loaf.

For realz.

This combo is ridiculously delightfulI tend to use those words a lot to describe my baking … don’t I???

Well it is!

It’s got that slight nutty flavour thanks to the almond meal and slivered almonds … plus it has the tartness of the stewed rhubarb AND then … the pop of the lemon curd … which just melts into the loaf as it bakes.

Sigh.

RIDICULOUSLY. DELIGHTFUL. No word of a lie.

I based this recipe on the hummingbird bakery‘s rhubarb almond loaf The lemon curd isn’t necessary … but it sure does make for a tasty treat.  Lemon and rhubarb are a combo made in heaven … I promise.

stewed rhubarb

ingredients:

4 – 5 stalks rhubarb, chopped into small pieces

70 g sugar

20 g butter

Place the rhubarb in a saucepan along with sugar, butter and 50 ml of water.  Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb softens.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

almond loaf

ingredients:

190 g butter, at room temperature

140 g flour

190 g sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

50 g ground almonds

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

25 ml buttermilk

100 g stewed rhubarb

1/4 c. lemon curd

15 g flaked almonds

 Preheat oven to 325 F.  Grease the loaf pan and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  About 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well on medium speed after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything has been mixed properly.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl; combine the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, cinnamon and ginger.  Add half of the mixture to the creamed butter/sugar/egg mixture, followed by half the buttermilk. 

Mix well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and then the rest of the buttermilk.

Stir in the stewed rhubarb making sure it is evenly mixed into the batter, then pour into the prepared loaf tin.  Add dollops of the lemon curd.  Swirl them in.Sprinkle with flaked almonds on top.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes

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cardamom chocolate chip banana loaf

I heart Donna Hay.  She is to me what … Martha & Nigella are to other people … I think she’s awesome (I also think her donna hay ipad app is pretty spectacular as well).

I heart that she makes things that I want to make, are easy to make, and that they actually turn out!  Plus … her food styling rocks my world.  Seriously … I’ve found myself thinking … how would Donna make this look?  It’s become a slight obsession.

And I’m totally cool with that.

Who wouldn’t want to make something that looks good?

And when you look at her recipes and realize … oh yeah – I can totally do that! 

Like this one.  It’s so simple … but so delicious.

I wouldn’t call this a banana loaf.  It’s more of a spice loaf with bananas on top … but it’s still delightful.  For realz.  This might become a new little gem in your recipe folder.  

Donna Hay’s original recipe was banana cinnamon breads.  I decided to change things up.  I flipped through my flavour bible and decided that pairing cardamom, chocolate chips and bananas would work well.

I was right (well … the flavour bible was right).

This is a real holiday recipe – spicy and sweet (the bananas and the chocolate chips) … plus it smells absolutely amazing while baking. 

And it’s good two days later … even when you’ve kept it in the fridge (I’m not a fan of keeping baked goods in the fridge … it sucks all the moisture out). 

Oh yeah … it’s super adorable – so again … another awesome hostess gift!  Or perfect for Christmas morning … or a couple of days after Christmas when you just want something good to eat without all the fuss.  This recipe will answer that need.

I decided to double the batch … I was seeing lots of friends and wanted to bring everyone a little lovin’ from my oven.  Doubling meant that I made 1 dozen mini loaves and 1 dozen extra large muffins.  Both turned out great – and their size meant that I was able to bake them in under 30 minutes.  AWESOME!

cardamom, chocolate chip & banana loaves / muffins

ingredients:

5 oz butter, room temperature

1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. almond meal (ground almonds … or hazelnut meal would work too)

1/3 c. buttermilk

1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or cinnamon if following the original recipe)

1/2 c. chocolate chips

2 bananas, sliced

melted butter for brushing

brown sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Spray your mini loaf pans, or muffin pans with non stick spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy – about 5 minutes.  Add the egg  – beating well. 

Turn off the mixer.  Add the flour, baking powder, almond meal, buttermilk, and cardamom and fold in until smooth.  Toss in the chocolate chips and stir until they are evenly distributed.Grab your ice cream scooper and scoop the batter into your pans – I used 2 scoops in both the loaf pan and the muffin pan molds. 

Grab your bananas and slice them.  As you can tell – slice them however you want … I think thicker is better – since they will be caramelizing as the batter bakes … and you want them to keep their shape.

Gently brush the melted butter on top of the banana slices, and then generously sprinkle brown sugar on top of the melted butter.

Done!

Bake for 25 minutes – they will be golden and smell ridiculously delightful (you might want to bake them a little longer … resist the urge – you don’t want them to dry out … don’t forget – since there is no banana in the batter, it’s not overly moist to begin with).

Remove from the pan mold immediately.  You don’t want them to keep baking.  Allow to cool on a wire rack … these are great warm from the oven … but equally delicious at room temperature.

I think I’m going to make another batch of these this week … only perhaps I’ll make them into mini-muffins and bring them into the office … or just save them for myself :0)