Monday, 25 April 2011

The Rhubarb is Alright

Rhubarb!  It is all over our allotments.  Well except for our plot where it is struggling to get established due to some little git of an insect nibbling and leaving the fruit of its loins all over the underside of the leaves.  Rhubarb is much beloved of my BaBFF (my baking and best friend 4eva, Audrey -  keep up that maybe the first and last time I explain that acronym) and I.  She makes the most delicious rhubarb crumble I have ever tasted.  Nothing fancy, no sprinkle of ginger or oats in the topping, just perfect tart rhubarb with a spring duvet of buttery crumble, crisp and squidgy all at the same time.  I plan on getting the recipe for BooCakey as soon as I can.

I have been trying out new things to do with rhubarb, my current obsession being rhubarb cake.
I had a go at a Good Food recipe for rhubarb spice cake (the official picture is the one below) last week although I can quite honestly say it looked nothing like the picture when it turned out.

It was like a golden syrup cake but with bits of rhubarb floating about. The cake was lovely but the combination was not great if I am completely honest.

The success of the week was using the rest of the rhubarb to make a lemon and rhubarb drizzle cake.
Tart and unctuous, wonderfully simple and very quick too.  I used some stewed rhubarb from my freezer (a take away sized tub full). I don't have a picture but here is the recipe; 

Lemon and Rhubarb Drizzle Cake (Recipe by BooCakey)

Cake batter:
6oz self raising flour
6oz golden caster sugar
6oz Stork or butter
2oz ground almonds
3 large eggs 
1 tsp baking powder
Cooled, drained rhubarb
The zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon of lemon oil (optional)

The rhubarb:
4 sticks of rhubarb chopped into inch pieces 
1-2 tbsp golden caster sugar
4 tbsp water

You will need a 9 inch square baking tin or silicone equivalent or a christmas cake sized round tin. Something big basically as this cake makes 12 to 16 portions. Grease the tin.

Lightly stew the rhubarb by chucking the ingredients in a pan and boiling until the rhubarb softens ever so slightly and juice starts to be released. Leave to cool.
Pre heat the oven to 180oC
Once cooled, strain the rhubarb through a sieve, keeping the juice- this will be the drizzle part of the finished cake.  Pour the juice into a pan and simmer until reduced by half.

While the syrup is reducing make the cake.  This bit is a doddle.
If you have a food mixer (hand held or otherwise) this will make your life easier, if you don't it will give your beating arm a good work out.

Cream the butter/ Stork and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the ground almonds, eggs, lemon zest and oil, sieve in the flour and baking powder and whizz until all mixed together (about a minute with an electric mixer).  Don't over mix or your cake will be tough.  Gently fold in the strained rhubarb and pour the mixture into the greased tin.  Pop in the oven and set a timer for 45mins.

The cake is cooked when it feels firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.

Take the cake out of the oven (keep in in the tin) and use the skewer to poke holes all over it.  Spoon over the warm rhubarb syrup over the the warm cake, be gentle.  Leave to cool and let the syrup sink in.
Best served in your mouth.


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