Thanks Betty and Bill for the rhubarb! Yes, I once again became the proud owner of some home grown rhubarb. Last time I got some, I made rhubarb compote which was a big hit with the family. Yes I was a novice rhubarber then (I know, can you believe I survived all this time without cooking with rhubarb). My mum used to make the most wonderful tarts with rhubarb but I never appreciated them as I didn’t really have a sweet tooth back then. Anyway, this year I thought I’d expand my repertoire a bit and make a cake.

I must have scanned about 100 different recipes until I found this one. Something about it just appealed to me. The way the recipe seemed to flow, ingredients made sense (and reasonable quantities in the event it didn’t work out), and most of all, nothing too complex. Although if I can find more rhubarb, I will most definitely make another recipe I found – decorated this time, with rhubarb strips. But for now try this cake. It’s dense, it’s ridiculously moist (I took it out of the oven after 1 hour – the cake tester came out clean), and it’s very tasty. I was concerned it might be too sour because of the rhubarb, but it was perfect, not too sweet either.

I did add one thing to it. The original recipe (from a website called Kitchen Wench via a book called The Country Cookbook, by Belinda Jeffrey) called for some sugar and cinnamon to be sprinkled atop the cake before baking. Now I will tell you, I do this with muffins and cupcakes with something called citrus sugar (a separate posting will follow – so easy). I talk about it all the time in my cooking classes and have been doing it for years. But what I did this time as the sugar didn’t completely melt on top, I took a blow torch to it and bruleed the surface. Magical moment here – wait, I’m getting weepy just thinking about this thing of beauty. I could also have used the broiler, but felt more in control with the torch. The broiler goes from perfect to burned in seconds and for someone like me who gets distracted or multi-tasks, that’s not a good thing. I used a serrated knife to cut the cake in slices and served it with a little rhubarb compote (I had some rhubarb left over and thought it would be nice to serve with the cake). So become a rhubarber, it’s easy, make the leap! As always – enjoy!

350g (2 & 1/3 cups) Self-Raising Flour (I used all purpose flour mixed with 1/2 tsp salt and 3 1/2 tsps. of baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
60g Churn 84 (butter), at room temperature
330g (1 & 1/2 cups) firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
240g (1 cup) sour cream
440g (4 cups) rhubarb, cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) chunks
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 350f, and butter/spray the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan and line with parchment paper (lightly butter/spray the parchment paper)
Combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and 1 and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl with a whisk – set aside
Mix the sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon – set aside
In the bowl of your mixer, put the butter and brown sugar and beat (using the paddle attachment) until the mixture is well incorporated i.e. no butter in sight, just brown sugary/buttery goodness
Add the egg and beat until the mixture is fluffy and creamy
Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until well combined
Add the flour mixture (on low speed) – remove the bowl from the mixer
Add the chopped rhubarb and stir until it is well incorporated into the batter
Pour (scoop or scrape really – it’s thick and not very liquid) into the prepared pan
Sprinkle the top with the sugar/cinnamon mixture (note if you use caster sugar – fine sugar, it will be just fine, I used regular sugar as I didn’t have caster and just didn’t want to dirty the processor to make it from regular sugar)
Bake the cake for 1 hour (original says 1 hour and 10 minutes – you know your oven best) or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean
Serve with rhubarb compote or whipped cream or ice cream (or all three :))
As always – enjoy!