Back in April, the lovely 9 Bean Row, suffering from a surplus of rhubarb in her backgarden, enquired over Twitter if anyone would like to take some off her hands. Of course I leaped at the chance and arranged to collect it from her in town.
Not wanting to go down the crumble route, I decided that the best thing to do with the rhubarb would be to make a cake out of it and throw in a little ginger as they work so well together. Below is the result of the experiment. It tastes very good and I think would possibly be even better with a little softly whipped cream on the side. Go on, the cake is calling!
First preheat your oven to 150°C. Then you need to rinse your rhubarb and chop it into pieces about an inch in length.
Put the butter into the frying pan, when it starts to foam add in the rhubarb pieces.
Sprinkle the 2 tblsps of caster sugar over the rhubarb, gently stir through and lower the heat. Let the rhubarb cook until it has slightly softened and the butter, caramel and fruit juices have formed a syrup. Leave to one side to cool while you prepare the rest of the cake.
Take the ginger and use the handy 'peel it with a spoon' trick that I mentioned before. Grate the ginger and leave to one side.
Now onto the cake proper. First sift the flour into a roomy bowl and add the butter cut into pieces. Rub the butter into the flour creating a breadcrumb textured mixture.
Add the sugar to the mixture and stir it in.
Add the rhubarb and ginger into the bowl and stir in.
Beat the eggs in a seperate bowl and add bit by bit to cake mix. Make sure that you mix everything together thoroughly. Leave to one side while preparing the cake tin.
I used quite a deep baking tin as my only other one of appropriate diametre is very shallow. A springform tin would also work. You need to grease your cake tin well. I like to use old butter wrappers as it's a handy way of recycling them, but you can just rub in some marg or butter with your fingers or a bit of baking paper.
If you have an old school tin like this one, it's best to line it with baking parchment. If you don't have any baking parchment, then any kind of brown paper will do, I used a handy paper bag. If you have a non-stick tin, then you should be safe just greasing it.
Put the paper under the tin, draw a circle around it, cut it out and stick to the bottom of the tin. Then grease the paper.
Pour the cake mixture into the tin and place in the oven for 1½ - 2 hours, until the cake has turned golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
If the cake seems to be getting too brown before it is cooked through, cover the top of it with tin foil to protect it.
Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and allow to cool in its tin for a couple of minutes, then carefully tip it out onto a wire rack where it can cool. You may also need to carefully remove the baking parchment from the bottom of the cake when you remove it from the tin.
Serve the cake warm or cold, it's pretty good both ways and as I said I think it would be pretty tasty with a little cream on the side or perhaps a dusting of icing sugar.
Let me know if you try it and like it, or if you try it with other fruits.