I love cooking with rhubarb – it’s such a beautiful ingredient that brings a mouth whalloping tang along wherever it goes. I don’t have a super sweet tooth, so really enjoy the sourness of rhubarb in desserts.
Sara Buenfield’s recipe for rhubarb and orange cake in May’s Good Food Magazine has been on my to-bake list for a couple of weeks, and I finally found some time to give it a go.
I adapted it slightly and decided to make mini loaf cakes instead of one big cake. Loaf cakes are perfectly portioned, freezable and portable for picnics or breakfasts on the move. You can pick up the coffee shop-esque loaf cake cases in the baking aisle at most supermarkets these days, but I get mine from Sainsbury’s.
The texture of this cake is wonderful. A crusty almond-flecked topping giving way to a soft puddingy orange and almond sponge with fabulous nuggets of lively rhubarb.
I had to scoff one fresh from the oven as it was totally irresistible! Sam got stuck into one after school – he loved the sponge but studiously avoided eating any rhubarb, looking revolted by the stringy tendrils on the end of his fork. Matthew hoofed one down for dessert and then again for breakfast the next morning so it definitely got the firefighter’s approval.
If I made them again i’d split the cake batter and fold rhubarb through one portion and leave the rest plain for the boys – that’s another virtue of loaf cakes – you can customise them to order!
Rhubarb and orange mini loaf cakes (adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine)
300g rhubarb, 2cm dice
225g butter, softened
280g caster sugar
1 orange, zest and juice
225g self-raising flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
handful flaked almonds
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Put the chopped rhubarb into a bowl with 50g of the caster sugar and leave to soak. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4. Put your loaf cake cases out on a baking sheet.
2. Meanwhile cream the butter, sugar and orange zest and juice together in a mixer until fluffy.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, almonds and eggs and mix well until you are left with a smooth batter.
4. Fold in the rhubarb and juices, then spoon the mixture into the loaf cake cases making sure the lumps of rhubarb are evenly distributed.
5. Scatter with flaked almonds and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out of the sponge clean.
6. Cool on a wire rack and then dust with icing sugar and serve.
Tip: These would also be delicious with an orange drizzle icing on top. Mix the juice of one orange with enough sieved icing sugar to form a runny paste and then drizzle over the top of the loaf cakes.
They don’t keep for very long because of the moisture from the fruit – so scoff them within a couple of days.
I’m hosting this month’s Breakfast Club event on behalf of Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, for which the theme is Bakes… so I’m going to enter this batch of lovelies and fully encourage you to think of something you’d like to bake for your breakfast and share it with us too. Hop on over to my Breakfast Club page for May to enter your recipes now!
I’m also submitting this to my lovely friend Ren’s blog event Simple and in Season as rhubarb is tres seasonal! Check Ren’s site out for some great ideas using produce that’s around this month.