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Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Rhubarb crumble cake...finally



This cake is the bastard child of Martha Stewart's breakfast muffins (specifically the streusel component) and a basic vanilla sponge.  The idea presented itself to me following the delivery of some hot pink rhubarb (with thanks to Ocado).  Usually I just make a compote, flavouring the stewed rhubarb with either orange juice and zest, or with fresh ginger, but this time around I decided to be a little bit more adventurous and incorporate the rhubarb as a sweet-tart element in a luscious cake.

Rhubarb compote is spread on to an egg rich vanilla sponge mixture (like custard you see!), before a buttery streusel topping is scattered over and the whole lot baked in the oven til golden brown.

To make this you will need:

For the rhubarb compote:

400g of rhubarb
About 100g of caster sugar (or to taste, but making sure it stays sharp)

For the cake:

100g ground almonds
50g of plain flour (or tipo 00)
150g unsalted butter
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
150g of caster sugar
A vanilla pod, split down the middle and seeds scraped out
4 eggs
Pinch of salt

Butter for greasing

For the streusel topping:

75g of unsalted butter
75g of plain flour
75g of icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Roughly chop the rhubarb and put it in a pan with the sugar and a splash of water.  Cook until it becomes a thick mush (technical term).

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar for the cake.  Beat until fluffy, and then add in the eggs, salt, and the contents of the vanilla pod.  Combine without over-mixing.  Then sift in the flour and add the almonds and baking powder and mix a little more.  Pour the mixture in a 23 cm spring form tin that's been well buttered.

In a small sauce- or milk pan melt the butter for the streusel.  Add the flour and icing sugar and mix (off of the heat) until you have a crumbly mixture.

Distribute the rhubarb evenly over the sponge mixture.  Spinkle the streusel mixture on top.  Bake the cake for about 25 minutes (although you may want to check after about 20 as the sponge element is quite thin and won't need too long to cook).  Et voila!  Delicious with creme fraiche or greek yoghurt.




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