Its almost the end of May.
In theory we ought to be merrily dusting off the BBQ, enjoying the summery scent of freshly mown grass and blossom and dining alfresco (or at least down the local pub garden).
Instead, I've been putting the heating on, seeing snow return and reading magazine articles entitled 'Bikini Body in Two Weeks' while thinking 'Really? Pray, What is the point?...Pass me the cake'.
Indeed, the only sure fire sign it is Spring is the return of Kate Humble and co on the telly with SpringWatch.
Still, we can attempt to celebrate the season by baking. With juicy summer berries but a few weeks away (apparently), I'm making the most of the last of the season's homegrown rhubarb with the Soured Cream Rhubarb and Ginger Upside Down Cake.
Thing is with a lot of our seasonal fruit and vegetables, its all of nothing (see also: courgette). One week every single mealtime involves rhubarb, the next we've moved on to the asparagus. And there are only so many rhubarb crumbles on can joyfully tuck into without a sense of deja vu. I suppose the giant rhubarb leaves could make useful headgear for a rainy Wimbledon or Ascot. And the stalks could potentially double up as rounders bats....
Rhubarb and Ginger Upside Down Cake
For the topping:
450g rhubarb, washed and trimmed into 1 inch piece
50g caster sugar
For the cake:
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps ground gingerpinch of salt
115g butter softened
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
120ml soured cream
2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
1. Melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and rhubarb and stir to combine. Gently stir on a low heat until the rhubarb is softened but still retains its shape (approximately a few minutes). Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 20cm diameter round cake tin. Sift the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt into a bowl and set aside
3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until fully combined4. Add half of the flour mixture followed by half the sour cream and beat until just combined. Repeat, until the all the flour and cream is added. Stir in the stem ginger
5. Spread the rhubarb pieces across the bottom of the tin and top with the cake batter, smoothing over evenly with the back of a metal spoon or a spatula
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely
7. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche
- If you are still looking for rhubarb-piration, here's what I made last year. And earlier.
- Perhaps not the prettiest of cakes this one, but it was mighty tasty (according to my ravenous work colleagues who devoured it in 6 minutes flat, a new record).
- Rhubarb can be frozen of course- it's easier to cut the stalks into inch sized pieces first
- What have you been baking with rhubarb this year?