Friday, March 25, 2011

A Tale of Two (or Three) Cook Books

Because like it or not I’ve reached a point in my life where Friday nights are about baking (if I have the energy) blogging (if I have the energy) and staring at the television (requires no energy – happens a lot). Anyway tonight I had a few bits and pieces (including rhubarb that I bought at the beginning of the week in a fit of optimism) that needed using and a new book; Pam Corbin’s ‘Cakes’. Could the two come together in a glorious pudding-y collision?

Well as it happens not quite – the rhubarb has gone into a cake but it’s a version of the apple pudding cake from ‘River Cottage Everyday’ (rhubarb instead of apple, no cinnamon, bit of extra sugar on top for crunch and sweetness, tea spoon of almond essence) although there has been help from Niki Segnit’s ‘The Flavour Thesaurus’ which assured me that rhubarb and almond have an affinity for each other. Somehow this isn’t a combination which struck me as obvious but I now have a slightly burnt tongue that assures me that it is indeed so.

Cakes’ came in handy with an instruction to toss the rhubarb in a scant tablespoon of self raising flour – apparently this helps stop the fruit from sinking to the bottom, and it’s worked so I feel like I’ve learned something worth knowing. I also learnt that tipping the rest of the flour on top of the rhubarb when I emptied the dish means you just get a little lump of flour on top of the rhubarb at the end of the process, another valuable lesson for me.

I had meant this post to be all about ‘Cakes’ rather than all about cake but blogging and the scent of fresh baking are incompatible bedfellows; my mind will keep wandering back to the edible so a proper write up of this book will have to wait until I have the attention span to do it justice... And now as bed time approaches; the washing up has yet to be turned into drying up, ironing needs to be done, all Wednesdays books are still on the floor, and worst of all my census form still needs filling in – it seems some things about Friday (or me) never change.


  1. I'm not sure about Rhubarb in a cake but then I'm not keen on apple cake. I have a load of Rhubarb in my kitchen which I need to use up but I'll end up making it into a crumble I suspect.

  2. Jessica - the cake is good - like cakey crumble really, more pudding than anything else and a pretty colour. Mind you crumble is good too.

  3. Once a year I give into my husbands crazy cake designs and let him chose his birthday cake. This year was rhubarb crumble cake, essentially make the componant parts (crumble & mildly stewed rhubarb) and mix into cake mixture. I've got to say although it looked like a disaster especially after I'd smeared it with chocolate. The sharp bits of rhubarb with the occassional crunchy bit of crumble worked really well in cake. I've got to say though yours looks so much prettier Haylay with that lovely pink rhubarb.

  4. Lovely pink rhubarb from yorkshire - I can't help myself when it makes an appearance. I made Rhubarb trifle yesterday which was great except it does that thing where your teeth feel coated in rubber!