anyone else feeling that the hosepipe ban is a bit of a mockery as the rain lashes down? Puddle jumping, mud pies and very wet boots are all getting a little tedious even for the children. That said the garden must be thankful, though the only thing growing in any real abundance is the rhubarb. Pink, pretty, heavenly in smell, I love it, but I have to admit am always slightly challenged trying to find a good use for it. Cooked gently with vanilla, orange and sugar it is divine on yogurt and makes a perfect partner with apple or pear in crumbles, then I start to falter, what next, aha a cake. Does anyone ever need an excuse for a cake – what more than a very wet day and lots of rhubarb. This is a crumb cake, rich and buttery, easy to make, easier to eat and very satisfying on a rain drenched, rhubarb abundant April day!
Rhubarb Polenta Cake
300g of golden caster sugar
125g of soft butter
100 g of polenta
50 g of ground almonds
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
200g of greek yogurt or natural yogurt
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
150g of plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180 and line 2 loaf tins or one round 24cm tin
Wash and trim the rhubarb and cut into 1cm slices and toss with 4 tablespoons of the sugar and vanilla essence.
Put the soft butter and remaining sugar and pinch of salt in a bowl and beat hard until white and well creamed together (ideally with an electric beater). Mix in the the 2eggs slowly and then add one tablespoon of yogurt followed by one tablespoon of the remaining dry ingredients, until all the ingredients have been incorporated.
Stop the beating and then fold in the rhubarb, sugar and vanilla mix. Spoon into the tins (I used 2 loaf tins) and bake in the oven until golden on top and set. To test run a knife into the cake – it should come out completely clean, it should also feel like it has little bounce!
This cake could be served as a pudding ideally with rich Jersey cream, or creme fraiche, or eaten indulgently for tea – no excuse needed – it’s raining!