I started my blog titled “And the result is” with the words “we are now in the height of forced rhubarb season and no, this is not making those long slender pink stems do something against their will in those dark sheds”.Well, my goodness who would ever have known that when I came to write up my recipe for that blog 19 days later that we would be in a forced locked down only being allowed to go out for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day and travel to and from work only if absolutely necessary. As for those dark sheds, one blessing is the glorious Spring days we have had recently and that has meant I could escape into my garden.
Sadly you may not be able to go out to shop for the ingredients for this cake but I hope I can brighten your day just by sharing this recipe with you.
Rhubarb,almond & polenta cake
What you need:
20 cm diameter tin ( I used a springform tin) . The recipe does say a long loaf tin could also work
For the rhubarb
4 decent stalks or 6 smaller stalks (mine weighed approx 135g when prepared)
2 level tablespoons golden caster sugar
For the batter:
125g unsalted butter
1 tbsp honey
Zest of 1 lemon
50g light brown sugar
3 eggs ( I always use medium free range )
1 level teaspoon vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
50g polenta (you want the loose type not the block form )
30g plain flour
75g golden caster sugar
2 level teaspoons baking powder
What to do :
Preheat the oven to 150C 300F Gas Mark 2
1. Cut the rhubarb into chunks about 2cm long and wash. Place them in a single layer in a baking dish ( I used a flan dish), sprinkle with the sugar and cover with a layer of greaseproof paper ( I used an 8″ precut circle) and then cover with foil.
2. Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes until softened. Do not let them go soggy
3. Grease the sides of the baking tin and line with greaseproof paper.
4. Turn up the oven temp. to 180C 350F Gas mark 4
5. Cream the butter, honey and brown sugar together
6. Separate the eggs – put the egg yolks into a small bowl and the whites into a bowl or jug larger enough to beat. Lightly beat the egg yolks and add slowly to the creamed mix stirring gently.
7. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest, mix gently.
8. Add the ground almonds, polenta, flour and baking powder to the batter. It will become stiff
9. Beat the egg whites with the sugar until they are stiff and glossy
10. At this point I scraped out the creamed mixture from my food processor and transferred it to a large mixing bowl. Then fold 1/3 of the egg white into the mixture to loosen it and then gently fold in the remainder.
11. Spoon the batter into the tin and carefully arrange the rhubarb on top
12. Bake for approx 45 mins -mine was baked in 38 mins ! Test with a cake tester, if this comes out clean it is baked . If you think the rhubarb is browning too quickly you can cover with greaseproof paper but definitely not before half an hour of cooking time.
13. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack
14. Serve on it’s own, with some greek yoghurt or creme fraiche
15. Enjoy X