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I adopted this delicious recipe from the Zaar database a few years ago. Who wouldn't love a Julia recipe? :) Recipe can be made in a large cast iron pan or smaller individual cake pans. Source: "Baking with Julia"
- 1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup creme fraiche (homemade or store-bought) or 1 cup sour cream
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 6 stalks fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (12 ounces)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- melted butter, for greasing the pans
- lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche, for serving
- Recipe will fit a cast Iron pan 12 inches across at the top.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350oF.
- Brush the insides of 8 mini-or baby cake pans, each 4 inches across and 1 inch deep, with a light coating of melted butter, dust with flour, and tap out the excess (skip this step if using a large cast iron pan).
- Whisk or stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together just to blend; reserve.
- In a separate bowl, stir the vanilla into the creme fraiche and set aside until needed.
- Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a heavy skillet (or use the cast iron pan).
- Add the brown sugar and bourbon and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts.
- Stir in the pecans to coat with the caramel and turn off the heat.
- Divide the caramel evenly among the pans, working quickly to get it to the edges of the pans before it sets- step unnecessary if using a large cast iron pan (cooked sugar cools rapidly).
- Arrange the rhubarb in circles over the sugar, and set aside while you make the batter.
- Put the remaining stick of butter and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use a hand-held mixer, and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- The butter and sugar must be beaten until they are light, fluffy, and pale, so don't rush it- the process can take 3 to 4 minutes with a heavy-duty mixer and 6 to 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer.
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Working with a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the dry ingredients and the creme fraiche alternately- 3 additions of dry ingredients, 2 of creme fraiche.
- You'll end up with a thick batter.
- Spoon the batter over rhubarb and smooth the tops by rotating the pans while you run a rubber spatula over the batter.
- Put the pans on a jelly-roll pan and bake for 20 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean (test a couple of the cakes to be certain).
- As soon as the cakes are removed from the oven, turn them out of their pans onto a rack.
- Storing the Cake- The cakes can be kept wrapped in plastic at room temperature overnight.