Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gingered Rhubarb Trifle


So I had good intentions last week when I bought two bundles of thin luminous stalks of rhubarb at the farmer's market, sensing that it may be my last chance this year. Then I got home, didn't have time to clean and prepare it to freeze, and just threw it into the fridge Siberia, and forgot about it. Except for the few stalks I used in a strawberry-rhubarb cobbler on Sunday.

A week later, I figured it would probably be dead. The stalks had gone limp, but most retained their vibrance and were free of wrinkles. And like I had thought, there was no more rhubarb at the market.

I was already making a marble cake for my cousin because he wanted one (nothing different, just a classic chocolate and vanilla marble cake in a tube pan,) so making a rhubarb cake would have been a bit of an overload, though after weighing my rhubarb I found I only had half a pound. I had leftover cupcakes from making a TV dinner, and whipped cream from making caramel sauce, so I figured, why not try to make a trifle?

And it worked. Though it wasn't until after I used ground ginger that I realized I had fresh ginger in the fridge. It was a hit at our party, though I think that it could have used a bit more rhubarb and the recipe reflects that chance.

Unfortunately, no pictures.

Gingered Rhubarb Trifle
serves 8?

1 lb rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 inch piece of ginger, or a pinch ground ginger
1/2 cup of water
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups 1-inch cake cubes (such as leftover cupcakes, pound cake, etc.)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger, optional

In a heavy saucepan, combine rhubarb, ginger, water, and sugar and bring to a broil. Reduce heat and keep at a simmer until rhubarb is tender and most of the water has evaporated. Remove piece of ginger. Let cool.

Meanwhile, whip cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside in fridge.

In a glass bowl or trifle dish, place 1/2 of cake cubes. Top with 1/2 of rhubarb compote and 1/2 of whipped cream. Repeat layers with remaining cake, rhubarb, and cream. Sprinkle the top with crystallized ginger if using.

Cover tightly and refrigerate two hours or overnight.

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