When you walk along the street carrying rhubarb it gets a reaction like no other fruit or vegetable – most people look and smile (because, let’s be honest, a stick of rhubarb is a funny looking thing and it never fits in the bag you’re carrying it in leaving Triffid-like stalks and leaves sticking out!) while anyone even vaguely ‘foodie’ nods respectfully.
The rhubarb is roasted; here is it about to go into the oven (don’t worry that it looks too much – I made two cakes at the same time):
For the rhubarb:
400g rhubarb, washed and cut into chunks
50g caster sugar
For the cake:
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g ready made custard (the thicker and more yellow, the better! I used Ambrosia)
250g self raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g golden caster sugar
- Start by making the rhubarb element: Preheat the oven to 200˚c/fan oven 180˚c/400˚F / gas mark 6.
- Wash and trim the rhubarb and dry on kitchen paper. Cut into largish chunks, approx 2-3cm long.
- Place in a shallow baking tray and sprinkle the caster sugar over it as evenly as possible. Toss together.
- Spread the rhubarb in a single layer if possible then cover with foil and roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil and shake the tray a little. Roast for a further 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender and the juices are syrupy.
- Drain off the juices before you let the rhubarb cool – this stops the rhubarb getting too wet and making the cake soggy.
- Lower the oven temperature to 180˚c/fan oven 160˚c/350˚F / gas mark 4.
- Line a 2ocm round springform cake tin with baking paper.
- Put 3 tablespoons of custard to one side for later.
- Beat the butter, remaining custard, flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and golden caster sugar in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Spoon a third of the batter into the prepared tin and level.
- Spoon a third of the rhubarb onto the batter and ensure it is evenly distributed.
- Spoon a further third of the batter onto the rhubarb and spread out as best you can. Be gentle and it will be ok.
- Spoon a further third of rhubarb and top with the remaining cake batter.
- Scatter the remaining rhubarb on top and then dot the 3 tablespoons of reserved custard on top as well.
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until risen and golden, then cover with foil and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took nearer to 1 hour 30 minutes in total.
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack.
- If you wish you can sieve some icing sugar over the top before serving. Serve with some thick cream.
- Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.