For the past month, I've been apartment hunting, searching high and low for a little place I can call my own. It's been eye opening, to say the least. I think I could write a dictionary for apartment hunters, helping them decipher what words like cozy and comfortable really mean in the Brooklyn apartment world.
If nothing else, the process has taught me about what I really value. It's not the bathroom. I couldn't care less if there's a bathtub or shower stall. It's not the windows. It doesn't really matter to me where they look out, as long as they're there. Hardwood floors? Tiles? Carpeting? Who cares?
What I'm after is the kitchen. I need a kitchen with an oven as close to normal size as possible. I want a space with a real refrigerator, though that's been harder to find than I initially thought. And I want cabinets. As many as I can get.
And I need room for the 10 brand-new ramekins I purchased for this dinner party.
Not that I'll ever be able to have 10 people over for dinner in my new place (I'm hoping I'll be able to have 4 over), but I still don't want to part with them.
During the dinner, they were home to these delicious rhubarb pudding cakes. I caught the rhubarb near the end of the season, but I still found some beautiful bright pink stalks. The rhubarb simmered up with some sugar and cornstarch to form a delightful chunky sauce.
The ramekins were layered: rhubarb sauce, cake batter and more rhubarb sauce.
They baked up beautifully, with the rhubarb sauce infusing into the cake batter and keeping it extra moist. Served warm, with homemade strawberry sour cream ice cream on top, these cakes were just delicious.
And, since we each had our own individual cakes, we got to eat as much as we wanted.
So, I think the ramekins will stay. I can always bring them with me to dinner at a friends.
Be sure to visit my original post to learn all about the McCormick Gourmet Dinner Party Chain Feast I participated in and to see the entire menu!
Rhubarb Pudding Cake
recipe adapted from Eggs on Sunday
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar, divided into two 1/2 cups
3 cups rhubarb stalks, sliced into pieces between 1-inch and 1/2-inch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk, and it worked well!)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your 8-ounce ramekins, buttering them well.
In a small sauce pan, combine water, cornstarch and 1/2-sugar, and stir well. Add 3 cups rhubarb, stir well, and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly, bringing the mixture to a simmer, and allow it to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, prepare the cake batter. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter and vanilla extract. Whisk the ingredients together.
Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk the ingredients until just combined. The batter should be wet and heavy.
Remove 1/2-cup rhubarb syrup from the saucepan and set aside. Ladle the remaining syrup evenly between the four ramekins. Top the rhubarb mixture evenly with the cake batter, distributing it evenly over the ramekins. Drizzle the remaining 1/2-cup rhubarb syrup on top.
Bake the ramekins until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the ramekin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire cooling rack.
Rhubarb pudding cakes are best the day of, but can be reheated in a 250 degree oven if they're made earlier in the day. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.