Imagine my joy on discovering copious rhubarb patches all around the house. I took enormous pleasure in wandering out into the intense heat, armed with an ancient wooden-handled knife, and kneeling in the grass to cut the rhubarb stalks. I trimmed them then & there, tossing the umbrella leaves into the compost bin under the kitchen window.
This cake is a riff on my caramelised apple topping & cinnamon cake, although in this case I doubled the quantities to feed ten for pudding, and made the cake in an enormous non-stick tin I found lurking in the bottom of a drawer.
It went down like a house on fire: Paul (French) had three slices, which I consider the ultimate compliment. (Especially after a giant plate of M’s gigot d’agneau & my pommes boulangeres.)
Anyway this is incredibly simple – really. Use a food processor, and it can be done in 15mins. Takes at least 35mins to cook tho.
Bung the butter & sugar in the processor and whizz to a thick cream together. Add two eggs, whizz. Add 4tbsps of the flour. Whizz. Ad the last two eggs. Whizz. Add the rest of the flour. Whizz. That’s your cake batter.
Pour it into your well-greased cake tin. Scatter over the chopped rhubarb. (You don’t mix it in as it would all just sink to the bottom. This way it distributes itself pretty evenly through the cake as it cooks.) Mix together the butter and flour in the food processor. Pour the resulting crumbs over the rhubarb, and sprinkle over the sugar. That’s your crumble topping.
Put in the oven for at least 35 mins. I think this may have taken about an hour, but I forgot to time it. I turned the oven down from 180C to about 160C after 30 mins so that the outside wouldn’t get too crispy, whilst the middle cooked. It’s cooked when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
400gm caster sugar
400gm self raising flour
eight stalks rhubarb, & chopped into 2cm pieces & tossed with a tbsp of sugar
150gm plain flour
30gm caster sugar
NB The tin I used wasn’t loose bottomed, and I was concerned it would stick. I greased it extra thoroughly all over with butter on a bit of kitchen paper, and then shook a tablespoon of flour over it, banging the tin over the sink to get rid of any excess flour.
This ensures a crispy base that doesn’t stick (most of the time). I think for this cake it’s better to go for a wide tin than a deeper one if you have a choice, as it will take far too long too cook otherwise, and you risk a dark brown outside and molten middle. I think my batter was only 2 inches high.