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by Sarah Steimer

I used duck eggs for the first time when I made this recipe. There's more protein in duck egg whites, so my whites whipped extra high.

  • 1/2 cup (one stick)  unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole blanched almonds OR slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup rhubarb compote (recipe here)

In a food processor or blender combine the almonds, cornmeal, confectioners’ sugar and baking powder. Process until the almonds are finely ground, about one minute.

In a medium bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are quite stiff, about three minutes. Slowly add the sugar. Beat for one additional minute. Add the tepid melted butter and beat gently to combine – BE GENTLE. I don’t think I was gentle enough.

Add the almond and cornmeal mixture in two batches and mix gently only until combined. Do not overmix.

Spread the batter in a buttered, 8×8-inch baking pan, and dollop the rhubarb compote on top. With a spoon, press down through the rhubarb compote gently to swirl it into the batter. Be gentle, as you do not want to deflate the egg whites.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees until it is golden brown and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve with additional compote.

Recipe: A little Zaftig

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill and I had guests over one night, but the extreme evening heat made me rethink my oven appetizer. I threw these together last minute.

  • 1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces goat cheese

For the rhubarb compote:

  • 3 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon

In a medium sauce pan, combine the rhubarb, lemon juice and sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. (I made this the day before for a different recipe and had it chilled.)

For a while our farmer's market basically just had piles of asparagus and rhubarb.

For the candied walnuts

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts

In a saute pan, combine the sugar and salt over low heat. Stirring occasionally, let the sugar melt down until it resembles a brown sauce. Toss the walnuts in and mix quickly until coated. Pour the candied walnuts on a piece of wax or parchment paper and pull apart with forks (melted sugar is HOT, avoid touching it). Let cool completely.

Place about a tablespoon of goat cheese on each piece of bread. Top with rhubarb compote and a walnut or two.

Makes about 2o servings.

Recipe (or idea, I suppose): Sarah Steimer

Rhubarb compote recipe: Epicurious

Candied walnuts recipe: Chicagoist

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