Monday, 11 May 2015

What shall I do with all those eggs (part 3)

Our big rhubarb plant, left too long in the pot, is now permanently embedded in the ground, pot and all. It had to be trimmed so that Tim and Simon could move the cold frame from its position in full summer sun, where the plants inside cooked, to a more shady spot on the edge of the hangar.

2 men and a cold frame, featuring the rhubarb plant
So what can you go with a bit under half a pound of rhubarb? It was too good and fresh to waste. There are several versions of Rhubarb and Orange Cake on the Web, virtually identical save for the amount of flour to be included, and hence the cooking time and / or temperature. This one comes from BBC Good Food. The almonds in the mix make the cake wonderfully smooth.


    400g / 7 oz rhubarb, thickly sliced
    280g / 5 oz golden caster sugar
    225g / 4 oz butter, softened
    finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    225g / 4oz self-raising flour
    100g / 2oz ground almonds
    1 tsp baking powder
    3 medium eggs
    a small handful of flaked almonds
    icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Put the rhubarb into a bowl and sprinkle it with 50g of the sugar. Stir so the rhubarb is coated with sugar, then leave it in a cool place for 30 minutes to draw out some of the juices (macerate). Meanwhile, grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm loose-bottomed, round cake tin with baking parchment or greaseproof paper. Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 (160°C / 325°F / gas mark 3 fan assisted).
  2. Tip the remaining sugar, the butter, orange zest and juice into a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk (whizzy stick attachment) until well blended. Add the flour, almonds, baking powder and eggs, then beat again until smooth (none of your namby-pamby folding in here!). Fold in the rhubarb and any juices. Spoon into the tin and level the top.
  3. Sprinkle the top of the cake mixture with the flaked almonds, then bake in the centre of the oven for 60-75 minutes until well risen, golden in colour and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Note the rhubarb stays moist so your skewer may be sticky because of that.  Cover with foil if the cake starts to brown too much during cooking. 
  4. Leave in the tin for 15 minutes then remove it and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.
Haven't you had enough cake?

While making the cake I commented that I might forget to include the rhubarb, my concentration being focussed elsewhere. Guess what... I remembered the rhubarb after I had already put half of the mixture in the tin. I just piled it in and hoped the cake would rise through it. It did, thank goodness.

The fresh eggs impart a lovely golden colour to all these desserts. I'm pleased, though, that we have two layers rather than three. Besides being highly decorative, Vinnie doesn't lay eggs!


GaynorB said...

We are rhubarb fans so this will definitely be tried out. It looks good!

Vera said...

Hope your rhubarb does well....we brought four plants with us when we came to France, but none of them survived. But a friend gave us one in a pot towards the end of the autumn last year, and since we did not have anywhere to plant it at that time we left it on top of the rabbit hutches, where it still you have reminded me to go a find a patch for it before it dies through lack of water!

Jean said...

I can vouch for the fact that the cake was delicious.....I will be making it myself just as soon as my own rhubarb is producing - fingers crossed.

GaynorB said...

Jean, you can have some of my rhubarb...

Pollygarter said...

I think thubarb needs partial shade if it's going to do well here. Or else a drip watering system. Or preferably both.