‘Cake for later, cake as a way of life.’ Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
I will be totally honest with you rhubarb is never my first choice of desserts. My father was a greengrocer when I was growing up so I eat pretty much every kind of fruit and vegetable available. However the thought of having to eat steamed rhubarb or rhubarb crumble still fills me with dread.
Determined to overcome my dislike of rhubarb I have put together a recipe that I and others like me can finally enjoy.
Although Rhubarb’s large green leaves are toxic, the stems offer multiple vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent non dairy source of calcium, with one cooked cup offering 35 percent of the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Great for anyone who is lactose intolerant.
One cup of cooked rhubarb also provides 63 percent of the RDA for vitamin K, which is intrinsic to blood clotting and helps facilitate the absorption of other nutrients, including vitamin D. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A,C, B and E, important for healthy eyesight and tissue development and repair.
Rhubarb is also an excellent source of Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorous and trace minerals, which helps keep your mineral and fluid balance in check, support bone and teeth health and support the functioning of red blood cells.
The combination of sharp rhubarb, zesty orange and nuttiness makes this recipe the perfect summer desert to serve at the end of a BBQ, garden party or simple family roast in the sunshine. In appearance this cake has a delightful rustic quality that is simple but sure to impress your guests.
The flavours of this cake are so light that it also makes a great afternoon or tea time treat. But you only have to dress it up with a drizzle of hot custard or whipped cream to create a show stopping after dinner dessert.
I made this cake last week and it was gone within 3 days. So take a risk, take an adventure and step out of your comfort zone. Rhubarb may in fact surprise you.
400g rhubarb (cut into 4cm pieces)
2 large eggs
200g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g ground almonds
Grated zest of one small orange, plus 2 tbsp juice
2 tbsp flaked almonds
1) Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180C. Line a 23cm cake tin with baking paper and grease.
2) Place the rhubarb in a bowl and sprinkle over 50g of the caster sugar. Set aside for twenty minutes while you make the rest of the cake.
3) Add the remaining sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat together until creamy, then mix in the beaten eggs.
4) Fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Add the grated orange zest and juice then mix thoroughly.
5) Spoon half the mixture into the tin and spread it right to the edges. Place half the rhubarb on the top keeping it away from the edges of the tin. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp of extra sugar.
6) Spoon over the rest of the cake mixture, then spread it to cover the rhubarb. Arrange the remaining rhubarb over the top in a circle filling in any gaps (again keeping it away from the edges of the tin).
7) Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and a tbsp of sugar.
8) Place in the oven for 1 hour until golden brown. Test with skewer to see if cake is cooked all the way through. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. If not serving warm then cool completely.
9) Serve with hot custard or creme fraiche as a decadent and delicious summer pudding.