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Making rhubarb lovable

April 22nd, 2012 · No Comments · Baking

We have the weekly contents surprise of our veg and fruit box from Soy Foods, which sometimes is great (fresh hazelnuts), sometimes is no surprise (more cauliflower) and sometimes just head scratching on how to make it into something that everyone here will eat.

And last week’s rhubarb is one of those. But then cake is one of those things that this house loves, so surely there had to be an answer there somewhere? Thanks to Pinterest, I came across a recipe for rhubarb, vanilla and soured cream cake, which sounded like it might do the trick. Except I lacked two of the ingredients, so this is a slight variation, being rhubarb and yogurt crumb cake.



Butter for greasing
275g rhubarb (untrimmed weight)
50g caster sugar
2 tsp plain flour
For the cake
6 tbsp Greek style yogurt
1 large free-range egg, plus 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
100g caster sugar
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g ground almonds or hazelnuts (I used a mix of both, as I had them both to hand)

For the crumbs
50g unsalted butter
25g light muscovado sugar
40g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar for dusting


First, you need to make the crumbs (not bread, think crumble). Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat. Remove from the heat, add both sugars and stir constantly until dissolved into a smooth, toffee-like sauce. Add the vanilla extract, pour into a small mixing bowl, stir in the flour and salt until it makes a stiff, biscuit-like dough. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the bowl and put to one side to go cold.



Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C, then grease and line a shallow 20cm square, 5cm deep loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper. Wipe the rhubarb stalks clean, trim off the ends, and cut into 2.5cm pieces, then put into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and flour, stir into the rhubarb and set aside, stirring now and then, until the flour and sugar mixture has become moist and clings to the rhubarb. Set aside.



Now start on the cake. Stir the Greek yogurt, egg, egg yolk and vanilla in a small bowl and sift the flour, sugar, bicarb, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Add the butter and mix (I used my Kenwood Chef, but you could use a hand-held electric mixer) until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the nuts, then gradually beat in the soured cream mixture until smooth.


Spread the cake mixture into the base of the prepared tin, then scatter over the rhubarb mixture. Break the crumb mixture into hazelnut-size pieces (or smaller if you prefer) and scatter over the cake.



Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes away clean (don’t forget – if you hit a piece of rhubarb it will still be moist). Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then dust with icing sugar. You could serve it warm with cream or custard, but we just cut slices when it was cold.



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