Of all the cakes one could have – and there are many out there – I believe that the ones involving yogurt as well as a good quality vegetable oil (light olive oil being my favorite) are up there with the best. Not only is a yogurt-oil based cake always going to be moist but it will also score culinary points with a pleasant tang from the yogurt. This bundt, or Gugelhupf as we prefer to call it around here, also keeps very well for a few days (if kept in a coolish place), so if you enjoyed it for afternoon tea or coffee the day before, you will be happy to reach for another slice the following morning and turn this delight into a breakfast treat.
Maybe it is just me who prefers the simple, the uncomplicated cakes. But there is something very comforting about a slice of a plain bundt cake. You can leave the cake entirely unadorned, or dust it with some powdered sugar or go for the glaze maybe with red fruit juice, maybe without. Or leave it as is and serve on a very pretty cake plate, maybe vintage, maybe new. If you have flowers, place them on the table, in a vase or glass bottle or any other vessel. Whatever you do, celebrate the simple things in life with this bundt. I should mention that it comes together in no time and rhubarb is just perfect here.
Yogurt Rhubarb Bundt
For the Bundt
- 240g white spelt flour (around here 'Type 630') OR all purpose (plain) flour (around here 'Type 405')
- 2 tsp baking powder (or you could use 250g of self-raising flour)
- a pinch of fine salt
- 150ml Greek yogurt OR thickened natural/plain yogurt
- 150ml light olive oil (or use another light oil suitable for baking such as sunflower oil), plus some for greasing the pan
- 150g superfine baking sugar (OR use regular white sugar)
- 8g pure vanilla sugar
- 3 eggs (M), free-range or organic
- 1 tsp finely grated organic/untreated orange zest OR use lemon zest
- 100g rhubarb, diced not bigger than 1.5cm
For the Icing
- 200g powdered sugar
- 50ml rhubarb juice (homemade or storebought OR go with freshly squeezed lemon juice)
- optional: 1 drop of natural food color OR a little bit of red fruit juice (sometimes I like to use a bit of red or black currant juice) to make the icing more 'pinkish'
- dried culinary rose petals* and a few chopped natural pistachios (or almonds) to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Lightly oil your baking pan (if you use a Gugelhupf pan, it should be about 22cm), dust with flour and shake out excess flour (if you do not have a bundt pan, go with a loaf pan).
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another large mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla sugar and eggs.
- Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture, add orange zest and mix until no flour is visible.
- Pour half of the mixture into the pan, top with the rhubarb, pushing some into the batter. Pour over the rest of the batter, smooth it a little then place it into the pre-heated oven.
- Bake the bundt for about 40 to 45 minutes (if you use a different baking pan, you will likely have to increase your baking time by 10 to 15 minutes or more, depending on size and shape). Cover the cake with foil if necessary towards the end to prevent over-browning. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer, it should come out clean. If not, place the bundt back into the oven for a further five minutes or until backed through.
- Take the cake out of the oven, leave to cool for only a few minues on a cooling rack, then carefully up-end it onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, make the icing (if using). Add the powdered sugar to a bowl, gradually add the rhubarb juice (and/or other red fruit juice) until you have a thickish glaze (you may not use it all). Pour it over the top, wait until it has set a bit, then decorate with culinary rose petals and/or chopped pistachio/almonds. Let the icing dry before slicing into the cake (if you can wait).
Note: *Culinary rose petals can be ordered online, you can dry some at home using only untreated roses, try your tea-merchant (which is what I do), your health-food store or Middle-Eastern stores. But whatver source you choose, smell the dried rose petals before using them - they should have a subtle rose flavor. To increase 'rosiness' use a few drops of a high-quality rose water in the icing but smell that first too, to make sure it has a suble flavor.
“Rhubarb is a funny vegetable. So funny, it thinks it's a fruit.”
(The Guardian, January 6, 2007)