Rhubarb and rain

rhubarbThere are only two things in plentiful supply on the allotment at the moment: rain and rhubarb.

We inherited the rhubarb when we took on the plot three years ago and it’s incredibly low maintenance. I ignore it all year until it rewards us with loads of ruby red stalks, which I then plunder mercilessly.

Here are some nerdy rhubarb facts:

  1. It’s actually a vegetable, not a fruit.
  2. The leaves are poisonous. So don’t eat them. Not that you’d want to anyway.
  3. Nobody eats rhubarb in Italy –according to Unhusband. But he might be wrong – he didn’t know what a parsnip was until he moved to the UK.

In the past, I’ve made rhubarb and vanilla jam, rhubarb crème brulee (thanks Delia), and roasted rhubarb with orange and crème fraiche.

But this week, in need of comfort food, I’ve been making rhubarb cake – with a bit of help from D.

The recipe is from Baking – a commonsense guide, and is really easy. I’ve no idea if it  counts as one of your five a day but who cares. It tastes great and like I say I need comfort food this week (more on that another time – maybe.)  Even if you think you don’t like rhubarb, give it a try!

  • 300 grams (I used more) of rhubarb cut into 1cm chunks.
  • 115 grams of caster sugar
  • 185 grams of unsalted butter.
  • 230 grams caster sugar
  • half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 grams of plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar for sprinkling
  •  icing sugar for dusting
First, mix the rhubarb with the 115 grams of caster and leave for about an hour until the rhubarb has released its juices and the sugar has dissolved. Then make the cake with the rest of the ingedients.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, then stir in the baking powder and flour. Pour the mixture into a lined 20cm x 30 cm shallow baking tin. Spread the rhubarb over the top in a single layer. Sprinkle over a spoonful of sugar and bake at 180 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and eat!


About Becky Dickinson

Mum of three. Writer, blogger, grower. Trying to keep my head above the compost heap.

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  1. Sounds lovely. I never used to be that keen on rhubarb, but have been trying it out while it’s in season and it’s really rather yummy.

  2. Jo Clark says:

    I’m not a rhubarb fan….infant I would go to say it is the ONLY food I don’t like. But, I’m willing to give anything a try, so I may just try out this cake next week. Also, can I have your recipient for the rhubarb and vanilla jam as I’m sure that hubby would love that!!

  3. Let me know how you get on Jo, and I’ll dig out that recipe. I’m thinking of rhubarb wine next …..

  4. Well… yes… no parsnip at all in Italy (ehm, I discovered them after moving too…) but at least a few rhubarbs 🙂

  5. V useful post, thanks for sharing. We’re still slogging away at our allotment, trying to reclaim our patch from the weeds. The potatoes we planted are growing though, and we’ve got garlic too but still lots to do & plant with it being early days on our plot xx

    • Glad it was useful Jo. If it’s any consolation I’m permanently struggling with the weeds! I’m a bit behind with planting too, but it’s so cold this year, that might not be a bad thing.xx

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