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Tagged With: Murray River Flake Salt

Lemon Thyme Rhubarb Cake

Tart, sweet and dramatically red, rhubarb never tasted so good as in this rustic Lemon Thyme Rhubarb cake.  The cake is moist and fluffy on the inside with a slight crisp on the outside edge. The sharpness of the rhubarb combined with the delicate pungency of the lemon thyme make this a most wonderful way to take advantage of an abundant rhubarb harvest.

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Lemon Thyme Rhubarb Cake

Ingredients

For the Compote
3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
For the Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened, plus extra for pan
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon thyme
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting pan
For the Topping
2 teaspoons lemon thyme
2 tablespoons white sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan or cast-iron pan
  3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add rhubarb, sugar and water
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has softened
  5. Strain, reserve juice
  6. Set rhubarb aside to cool while you make the rest of the cake
  7. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth
  8. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition (batter should look light and fluffy)
  9. Gently mix in the baking powder, salt, lemon thyme and flour - be careful not to over mix
  10. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter
  11. Spoon the rhubarb compote over the top of the batter
  12. Using a butter knife, swirl the compote through the cake batter, being careful not to scrape the bottom of the pan
  13. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the reserved rhubarb compote juice over the top
  14. Sprinkle with the rest of the lemon thyme and sugar
  15. Bake 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean
  16. Serve warm or room temperature
  17. Enjoy with more of the rhubarb compote mixed with whipped cream or Greek yogurt, served on the side
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/lemon-thyme-rhubarb-cake/

Categories: Eastern Europe, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gourmet Salts: The Spice Merchants’ Need-to-Know Basics!

Salt Offerings

Salt Offerings

“Salty” is one of the five basic flavors that the human palate can detect, along with sweet, sour, bitter, and “umami.” A baker might tell you that salt makes “sweet things, sweeter,” but more specifically, salt clarifies all flavors. The human mouth is saline, or salty, to begin with, so in order to begin to taste the more nuanced flavors in our food, the salt level in the food first has to match that in our mouth. The wisest of chefs know that the goal with a sprinkle of this prized mineral is not necessarily to achieve a salty flavor, but to elevate and complement all of the flavors in a dish. Here are a few of our favorite varieties, and what we find to be their best uses!

We love Alderwood Smoked Salt, arguably the most dramatic of our offerings. Fine grains of Pacific sea salt are cold-smoked over locally-harvested alder wood chips to achieve a charcoal grey color, and a distinctive smoky aroma and taste. Shop visitors consistently describe Alderwood Smoked Salt as a “campfire in a jar.” The spice team finds that Alderwood Smoked Salt makes meat dishes somehow “meatier,” and enhances grilled flavors both inside and out. We also love it on heartier vegetables like eggplant and squash.

Murray River Flake Salt is another shop favorite. This flaky, apricot-colored salt is harvested from a dry river bed in Australia. The flakes are delicate, and almost crispy when eaten whole. We love to bake with this salt, as it mostly dissolves easily, but often leaves just a smidge of crystal behind, so one stumbles upon a tiny bit of salt as they make their way through dense banana bread or peanut butter cookie.

From left: Alderwood Smoked Salt, Murray River Flake Salt, Sel de Mer, Black Lava Flake Salt

From left: Alderwood Smoked Salt, Murray River Flake Salt, Sel de Mer, Black Lava Flake Salt

Sel de Mer, the aged scotch of salts! This French grey salt is light grey in color, and its medium-sized crystals tend to clump together with its high moisture content. The subtle flavor is deep and earthy, and is right at home atop fish of all kinds. We also prefer it over all others on our caprese salads, for the great contrast in texture between the crisp tomatoes, the creamy mozzarella, and the crunch of the salt, not to mention how well the heartiness of the flavor plays against the sweetness and acidity of the balsamic vinegar.

Black Lava Flake Salt is as delicious as it is visually intense. The pyramid-shaped crystals are black in color, rendered so because of natural charcoal deposits. This salt is best used as a finisher, as all of what makes it unique would be lost once dissolved. We like its assertive flavor sprinkled on slices of fresh cucumber seasoned with a dash of sweetened rice wine vinegar, as well as a whimsical addition to a fresh watermelon and mint salad- the crystals appear to be watermelon seeds at first glance!

As we often remind you, there are no wrong answers in food! (Well, okay, sometimes…) Any of these salts could lend a fun update to a standby dish. Salts are a wonderful way to break in to the world of experimental cooking and seasoning, and make a great gift for both the seasoned (yes, pun intended!) chef, and the novice foodie alike. Happy cooking!

Categories: Global Cuisines, Hot Topics, Notes from the Field, Spice Notes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment