Ingredients - makes 9 inch (23cm) round cake
|14oz (400g) rhubarb, rinsed and dried||½ teaspoon baking powder|
|2oz (50g) caster sugar||4 large eggs|
|250g pack of butter, softened||1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|150g pot of ready-made custard (not the chilled variety)||9oz (250g) golden caster sugar|
|9oz (250g) self-raising flour||Icing sugar for dusting|
- Heat oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas mark 6.
- Trim ends and cut rhubarb into finger-length pieces and put in a single layer in a shallow dish or baking tray.
- Sprinkle the caster sugar over the rhubarb and cover with foil.
- Place in the oven and cook for 15 mins then remove the foil, give them a shake and return to the oven for a further 5 mins. The rhubarb should feel tender but have kept its shape.
- Drain off the juices and let it cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas mark 4 and grease and line the cake tin.
- Reserve 3 tablespoons of the custard and put the reminder in a bowl along with the butter, flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and golden caster sugar and beat until creamy and smooth.
- Spoon a third of the mixture into the cake tin, add some of the rhubarb , then dot with one third more of the mix and spread it out. Top with more rhubarb and spoon over the remaining cake mix leaving it with a rough finish. Scatter the remaining rhubarb over the top and dot with the set-aside custard.
- Bake for 40 mins until risen and golden, then cover with foil and bake for a further 15-20 mins.
- Cool in the tin and dredge with icing sugar when cool.
Guest taster’s comments
“I’ve never experienced a rhubarb cake before - Madeira or any other variety. The rhubarb and custard are as highly trained and merciless Ghurkha units. First comes the mellow, vanilla flavour and soft-textured advance of a well formed sponge to calm the bodies defences, and then the stealthy strike begins. The rhubarb packs a punch to rival Muhammad Ali, and each chomp of the jaw and push of the tongue opens up another part of the mouth to its drool-inducing power. All-to-soon in a state of blissful confusion you come to the end of the wedge and the soft crust moves in to gently exfoliate the battle field. Like a rogue’ish member of the opposite sex that you know you’re better off without, this cake is nevertheless, only a phone call away.....”