Tuesday, 17 May 2016


Patience is not a virtue that I have in spades. In contrast to the other six it is the hardest one for me, as it involves sending the good in you out into the universe and waiting on a response. Maybe it is a chance for introspection and contemplation, or it is a time to go stir crazy by feeling trapped in limbo.

In times like these I try to find distractions, whether these by activities such as the Karneval der Kulturen that was on this weekend, or watching the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, or thinking about what to do with two stalks of rhubarb that have been lounging on the kitchen counter without purpose. As rhubarb is not very common in South Africa, before coming to Germany I hadn't really considered cooking or baking with it, and don't know what one traditionally does with the reddish stalks. Last week I made Jamie Oliver's Stewed Rhubarb, where all you do is cook the rhubarb with some orange juice, ginger and sugar, which I then ate with yoghurt as a breakfast alternative to post toasties.

Rhubarb compote with orange and ginger. 
Previously, I had delved into rhubarb syrup and a wonderful rhubarb panna cotta tart, but this not being my home and not really having and kitchen utensils (people, it is soooo much easier working with cups and teaspoons than it is with grams and scales) I kind of winged a little something something with the two rhubarb stalks.

Preparations and a random Tidal playlist since I still have a week of free music left. 

Taking this Rhubarb Buckle recipe from the BBC as inspiration, I used fairly random measurements as the scale's batteries no longer work and I improvised with a coffee cup. Also, I added a slab of dark chocolate and used orange juice instead of an actual orange because I didn't have one.

The four parts: base dough top left, then chocolate, oat crumble and rhubarb with orange juice. 
What it looked like before it went into the oven for 45 minutes.
It all seems fairly simple, and assembling the various layers really is not a difficult task. The problem arose (literally) when I noticed the bottom dough had completely swallowed up the crumble layer. Also, a knife inserted at about 30 minutes came out clean, so I took the cake out for fear of over-baking it and ending up with something that tastes like eating a desert and not a dessert. Haha.

What a slightly undercooked piece looks like.
But then the taste test (read my gluttony) revealed the cake still being overly moist. It went in again, and now it is still moist enough (thanks rhubarb) but not undercooked as the previous piece had been. The dark choc also works really well, but somehow I think the recipe needs a bit of tweaking, or me actually using the correct measuring utensils and not winging the exact science that is baking.

I'd say not a complete flop but it you want to impress the people at work or a weekend barbecue I'd rather say make this celebration chocolate mousse cake:

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