Sunday, 5 May 2013

Rhubarb, orange and almond cake





Some people listen out for the first cuckoo to tell them when spring’s here.  I wait for the CCD (Caked Crusader’s Da) to tell me that he’s got tons of rhubarb and I’d better come up with some plans for it or it will rot...no pressure then!




So here it is; my first home-grown rhubarb bake of the year.  Spring has officially arrived!  Rhubarb and almond always work well together, as do rhubarb and orange...so putting all three together is dynamite!  Orange seems to add freshness to rhubarb and lift the flavour to something even zingier.  The almond does what it always does and adds lovely body to the sponge and a comforting blanket of flavour.




This is a big cake but it keeps well.  It’s the sort of cake I find irresistible – homely and rustic.  I love how the rhubarb bakes down and becomes squidgy but retains a hint of sharpness.




Definitely a cake you have to be genteel to eat – it requires a plate and fork as it is very soft and crumbly.  You won’t get away with a quick hand-held slice gobbled down in the kitchen while you make a cup of tea! (please tell me it’s not just me who cuts themselves a little slice to sit down with, but then cuts a ‘bonus’ slice to eat while you’re waiting for the kettle?)






Ingredients

400g rhubarb cut into 1cm chunks
280g golden caster sugar
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
zest and juice of one orange
225g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
2 handfuls flaked almonds

To decorate: icing sugar

To serve: if serving warm then custard or cream, if serving at room temperature then definitely cream!


Method

Place the chop rhubarb in a bowl and sprinkle 50g of the sugar over it.  Stir to ensure that the rhubarb is covered and leave for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm round springform cake tin with baking paper.

Place the butter, remaining sugar (i.e. 230g), orange zest and juice into a bowl and beat until smooth and well blended.  It might look a bit curdled and yucky at first but keep beating and it will all come good.  You will end up with a rich yellow whippy batter.

Add the flour, almonds, baking powder and eggs and beat until well combined.

Tip in the rhubarb and all the juice that has come out of the rhubarb.  Stir in until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Scatter the flaked almonds over the top.

Bake for approximately 1 hour 25minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  NB.  Check the cake after an hour in case the edges are browning too much – if they are, wrap a piece of foil around the edge to shield them, and continue baking.  I had to do this. 
Don’t worry if it takes longer to bake than the guideline time – the rhubarb releases a lot of juice and this can slow down the baking process.

Leave to cool in the tin until you can safely remove the tin.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Just before serving, sieve some icing sugar over the top.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.

Eat.

21 comments:

Gloria Baker said...

what beautiful cake!! and make me feel hungry of course!!!xo
I bookmarked!

Kit @ i-lostinausten said...

Wow! Just by looking at this flavorful & moist cake that I know this is a winner! Simply delicious!

sensibilia said...

This does sound good. I love rhubarb, and a big cake is always better than a small one!

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

It's a lovely cake and loks like it would be perfect with a cupof tea.
I'm also envious of your rhubarb supplies. My grandad used to cultivate it and other fruits, but when I was younger I didn't appreciate how lucky we were to have such things home grown. :)

Samantha said...

It looks absolutely delicious! My other half doesn't like rhubarb... but that means more for me ;)

Katie said...

Looks fabulous. Amother deliciously deep cake. I'd call this one a pudding cake. Yum

Jean said...

What a gorgeous cake.
We adore rhubarb and I am always on the lookout for something different to make with it. Thanks for the recipe !!

Lucy said...

Wow this looks like a hearty cake! The rhubarb in my garden isn't quite ready yet but I can't wait to get baking with it.

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I've been baking with rhubarb all weekend! I too raided my parents garden on a trip home this weekend. We had some very strange looks on the train back as we staggered on under the weigh of heaps of rhubarb... Almond and orange sound a delicious combination

Miss C Flash said...

An unusual yet lovely looking cake. I've never used rhubarb in a bake before, this looks delishx

Nickki said...

what a gorgeous looking cake! x

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - this looks amazing. Love anything rhubarb.

Recipe Junkie said...

Oh my - rhubarb and almonds - my favourite things (well, 2 of them). Great, great looking cake. We have rhubarb in the garden too, and the Husband is muttering similar things.

Mrs Mulford said...

I've booked marked your Baileys Cheesecake for them that must be obeyed but this one is mine. Well it is my rhubarb too which is doing amazingly and deserves to be dressed up in this scrummy cake!

Miss Lemony Love said...

That looks super moist and delicious! Have you ever tried making candied rhubarb for decorations? I did and almost lost my mind: http://lemonylovesbaking.com/?p=1284

Louise at Cake and Calico said...

Fresh rhubarb and orange (two of my favourite things) in a lovely, moist, substantial cake - this looks so good! Wish I had family with huge quantities of rhubarb to share...

Maggie said...

Rhubarb and cake - I would keep on cutting a slice of this - I love cakes that double up as dessert too.

Katherine said...

I just baked this for my sister's birthday and it is soooo good! Thanks for a great recipe!

morri said...

It seems that nobody's actually read the recipe in its entirety, because no one mentioned that the baking time seems to be incomplete. I mean, "1 hour minutes"? How many minutes? I'm making this cake now, so I'll post a comment when I know how much did it take for mine to bake. However, I used a 24 cm tin, so it can be different for the 20 cm form that was mentioned in the recipe.

The Caked Crusader said...

Sorry about the Morri - I have amended the recipe. It will vary hugely though because of the rhubarb juice so keep checking it after an hour

Happy baking

morri said...

Thanks, CC! My cake (24 cm tin, a little less rhubarb, around 300 g) took 1 hour 20 minutes exactly. It tastes AWESOME, adding almonds to a rhubarb sponge was a great idea. Although my butter/sugar/orange batter never stopped looking a bit curdled, no matter how long I tried to beat it (it's probably because I used a particularly big and juicy orange). I gave up eventually and just added all the other ingredients and the cake came out fine. So if anyone else doesn't get a whippy batter, don't be discouraged, just proceed to the next step.