Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rhubarb Cake

Having the lights back in my flat is great (even if it now means I can see how much mess the last week has created, and how much dust has accumulated) certainly worthy of celebration - so I've baked a cake.

Rhubarb because the recent hot, cold, hot thing that's been going on has made D's rhubarb bolt like crazy. I cut so much of it yesterday the weight of it in the bag on my way home bruised my shoulder. It would have been a bigger bruise but that I gave a whole lot to the train conductor on my way home (he seemed pleased).

I've not had much luck with rhubarb cake so have been messing around with recipes for ages to get it right. Mine have usually been wetter than I'd like and inclined to sink in the middle. When I got 'How To Eat A Peach' I liked the look of the rhubarb, marmalade, and rosemary cake. It falls in the autumn/ winter section and when I first made it a couple of weeks ago it was definitely to wintery to suit my mood. It was the marmalade that I felt was out of kilter with the season, and then the amount of ground almond and polenta making it a more robust cake than I really wanted.

If the cake is going to be eaten on the same day it's baked and still slightly warm (maybe with cream) then the rosemary is worth the effort. If it's going to be eaten cold over a number of days then I'm less bothered about it as I find it's a flavour that fades with time.

Measure 225g of caster sugar into a bowl and add a couple of sprigs of Rosemary. Lightly crush them with a pestle and leave to infuse. Line and butter a 20cm springform cake tin, laying 3 sprigs of Rosemary in the tin if using, and heat the oven to gas 3/160°C.

Measure 225g of unsalted butter (softened), discard the Rosemary from the sugar and beat well with the butter. stir in 100g of ground almonds and add 3 lightly beaten eggs a little at a time. Fold in the zest and juice of an orange, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of baking powder, 100g of semolina, and 150g of plain flour. Toss 300g of rhubarb (cut into 3cm chunks) with a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar. Put the batter in the tin, spread the rhubarb on top, add a couple more sprigs of Rosemary if using. Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes, covering with foil if the top starts getting a little dark.

Leave to cool before removing from the tin. What I really like about this one is that the semolina absorbs the juice from the rhubarb and almond is always a bonus.

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