I have a bit of a confession. I'm not a huge fan of rhubarb. Bit too tart for my liking. I find myself liberally pouring an entire bag of sugar over the stuff to make it edible for my super-sweet tooth. I love a crumble- apple, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, you name it*- but rhubarb crumble? Not such a fan truth be told.
However, with rhubarb being in season, and inspired by my sister who has spent the last few weeks inventing new ways with rhubarb from the seemingly never ending supply from my parent's garden, I decided a rhubarb cake was crying out to be made.
Scouring the books and internet for a recipe, I came across this one from Waitrose. A rhubarb, orange and almond cake. For me, it was one of those recipes that sound so delicious that by the third instruction you can practically already taste the cake in your salivating mouth.
400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
200g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
150g softened butter
75g self-raising flour
0.5 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
Grated zest of 1 small orange
2 tbsp orange juice
25g flaked almonds to decorate
Preheat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5. Grease a round 23cm springform cake tin and line its base with baking parchment.
1. Place the rhubarb in a bowl, cover with 50g of the sugar and leave for 30min, giving you time to prepare the rest of the cake
2. Using an electric whisk, beat the rest of the sugar and butter, and whisk in the eggs
3. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds
4. Stir in the orange zest and juice
5. Stir in the rhubarb and sugary juice into the cake mixture and spoon into the tin
6. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for 25 minutes
7. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C, gas mark 4 and cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool in the tin.
The middle of the cake may initially upon taking the cake out of the oven be a little soggy, but rest assures it still tastes beautiful.
As you can see from the picture, I did burn the top. This was because I had the oven temperature about 20 degrees too high in the first instance. Schoolboy error. A liberal sprinkling of icing sugar later and hopefully the damage wasn't too obvious.
It was moist, flavoursome and not too 'rhubarby'. The cake can be kept for up to 3 days in an airtight container. It tastes great warm or cold, perhaps with a little custard or cream
Waitrose also have a recipe for Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, a seasonal take on pineapple upside down cake.
* Well, with the exception of gooseberry, but thats a whole other blog post. Please return at an unspecified future date for the scintillating post: 'Gooseberrys: 5 Reasons Why I Don't Like Them'.