Food of the Month: Rhubarb

Friday 4 March 2016 by

The tastiest desserts tend to include one of the best Spring plants out there – rhubarb. Sharp and sweet, it’s most famous for its inclusion in crumbles and as the perfect partner for custard. The best way to start with rhubarb is to stew it with some sugar to make a pulpy syrup to add to any pudding you fancy (try making a jam with ginger or rhubarb bellini for something a bit different). But if that isn’t enough, try it with mackerel or trout for a salad packed with oils and nutrients; rhubarb is perfect with fish and oily white fish for Spring is the best.

For Papa Bear’s birthday I thought I’d try something a bit different. He loves custard, so I managed to find a delicious sponge that incorporates not just tangy, fresh rhubarb, but plenty of custard too. This recipe originated from the folks over at Scandi Kitchen, and I definitely recommend checking them out for some amazing recipes.

Rhubarb, Food of the month, Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, Baking, Gluten free

Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard – serves 6

You will need:

  • Saucepan
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Cake tin
  • Sieve

Rhubarb, Food of the month, Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, Baking, Gluten free

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g gluten-free plain flour
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • Crushed sugar cubes, to decorate (optional)
  • 100-150ml ready-made custard, thickened with 1 tbsp cornflour

For the topping

  • 25g butter
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 2-3 tsp ground cardamom (crush the seeds from 2 cardamom pods)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 sticks or 400g rhubarb, cut into 12cm lengths

How to make it:

Rhubarb, Food of the month, Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, Baking, Gluten free

In a saucepan, heat the butter, sugar and spice for the rhubarb mixture. Once it’s bubbling slightly, add the rhubarb and stew until softened slightly and completely covered in the mixture. Leave it to cool – it’s best to do this with plenty of time beforehand.

Rhubarb, Food of the month, Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, Baking, Gluten free, Butter, Sugar

To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and fold in to the wet mixture.

Rhubarb, Food of the month, Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, Baking, Gluten free, Custard

To thicken the custard, heat it slightly and stir in the cornflour until thickened and cooled.

Rhubarb, Food of the month, Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, Baking, Gluten free

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line the baking dish with greaseproof paper or grease with butter. Add the batter and spread evenly. Spoon the custard thinly over the batter and follow it with the rhubarb mixture – save some of the syrup for later.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until cooked through. Once cool, drizzle over the remaining syrup, crush up a few sugar cubes and decorate. Serve with lashings of cream.

Rhubarb, Food of the month, Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, Baking, Gluten free

This rich sponge cake is full of flavour – rhubarb and custard flavourings and a dense sponge to soak it up, with the added bonus of a variety of textures. I like to warm it a little and serve with single cream as an extra indulgent treat. In theory, this should have three distinct layers. My poor attempt means that it really doesn’t! It still tastes just as good though.

Do you love rhubarb? What’s your favourite way to eat it?

Check out more rhubarb inspiration on the Pinterest board!

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