My obsession with this year's rhubarb has got a little out of control. I'm prepared to admit that. It started quite innocently with the rhubarb and ginger crumble, continued fairly reasonably with a creamy rhubarb fool, started to get a little out of hand with a heavenly rhubarb pavlova and resulted in my falling for this satisfyingly moist spiced rhubarb cake. After the pavlova, I promised myself that I would hold back from purchasing more rhubarb, but once I spotted this cake in this month's edition of BBC Good Food Magazine, I knew I had to have it. Refusing was futile.
But I know it is time to move on. Embrace the new treasures that Spring has to bring. Before I do move on though, I thought I'd better share this treat of a cake. It is not overly spice, just a pleasing gentle warmth from the ginger and mixed spice. Next time I'd be tempted to up the ginger, or perhaps add a little chopped stem ginger for added oomph.
As for the original recipe, you'll find it in the May edition of BBC Good Food. Below, is my version. I have always hated recipes that ask you t weigh out liquid ingredients, especially when they are sticky as here with the golden syrup. Weighing golden syrup is a ridiculous activity. I meant to measure it out for you in something more useful - like tablespoons - but forgot. My only advice would be to lightly flour the bowl for weighing it out so that it slides out more easily. Or, if you have the kind of scales which enable you to weigh stuff in any container, place the food processor bowl on to them, set the scale to zero and pour the syrup directly into the mixture.
Spiced Rhubarb Cake
Makes around 20 brownie-sized slices
5 oz softened butter, plus a little extra for greasing
10 oz self-raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1 tablespoon stem ginger, finely chopped (optional)
4oz dark muscovado sugar
9oz golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs, beaten
10oz rhubarb, cut into 2 cm lengths
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Heat the oven to 180C or 160C fan. Put kettle on to boil. Butter and line a deep 20cm square cake tin.
2. Sift the flour and spices into a bowl and lightly mix together.
3. Place butter and sugar into a food processor and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the golden syrup and whizz in the processor.
4. Dissolve the bicarb of soda in 200ml boiling water and gradually pour through spout of food processor whilst the blades are whirring. Pulse in the flour and then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slightly between each addition.
5. Stir in rhubarb and stem ginger, if using.
6. Pour mixture into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed and is nicely browned on top.
7. Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes and then turn out 'upside down' onto a wire rack to cool, so that the rhubarb (which will likely have sunk to the bottom) is now on the top. Do this carefully - the rhubarb will have made the cake very moist and therefore a little tricky to handle/prone to splitting!
8. Dust with icing sugar and cut into slices. Eat within 3 days.