I was sitting at work yesterday, minding my own business, when I thought I heard someone say “rhubarb” in the general vicinity of the kitchen. Has Paul brought in his tasty rhubarb cake again? I wondered, and began a stealthy, nonchalant trek to see what was going on. He had brought it in a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted in on the ground floor if there was more. There was no rhubarb cake to be had, alas, but what there was, was free rhubarb (or deconstructed rhubarb cake, if you will). In fact, its purveyor attempted to send me home with the entire garbage bag full that he had brought in. I demurred, but decided that a few stalks – or, ahem, sixteen – couldn’t hurt. I had never cooked with rhubarb before (although I do enjoy eating it), but getting tons of it for free was like a carte blanche to try something new.
You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find a rhubarb recipe (that’s not pie, because it’s hot out and I’d prefer cooler temperatures to fiddle with pastry) in a vegan cookbook. Hello! It’s not kumquats, or something equally exotic, but a springtime farmer’s-market staple. Fortunately, Hannah Kaminsky’s Vegan Desserts came through with Spring Fling muffins. And since I had the day off today, I was up and baking first thing in the morning while it was still reasonably cool.
Yum! I love the streusel-y topping, and the little extra crunch that the sugar gives. The recipe said it made 12, but I’m not sure what sort of oversized muffin cups the author used, because I got 15 nicely-sized muffins out of the deal. (Not complaining…now I have more to share with an eager test audience.)
I thought the watermelon cupcake liners were a nice touch, as their main purpose seems to be to send mixed signals about what kind of fruit is inside.