Just one more rhubarb cake

I was going to follow the recent trend of Lemon and Elderflower cake baking and bake a gluten free version. It would make complete sense of course, what with a Royal Wedding and all, instead this one contains rhubarb. I am all for a Royal Wedding but could you get enough Lemon and Elderflower Cake from available cake outlet? Rhubarb is available  for what appears to be a very short while, I decided to make the best of this super versatile fruit/veg. With additional thanks to our lovely neighbour and her abundant allotment 😀😀 If you really wanted to, you could swop out the rhubarb for lemon curd instead. I kinda like the extra addition 😀😀 Plus I got the chance to make my own curd! Two versions in fact…… one was a bit runny, the second just about right.

Now it depends on how you like you curd. A bit tart, or a bit sweet? This one sits a bit on the sweet side, as I have stewed it with the addition of sugar and Elderflower cordial. When eaten with the cream cheese frosting we found it gave a very smooth eat. All the flavours in one mouthful 😀. This cream cheese frosting though……..😋😋😋😋

 

Firstly to make the curd (slightly adapted from a recipe from an Asda recipe) with some for additional baking or tasting.

Chop 500g of rhubarb and place into a suitably sized saucepan, with 100g caster sugar and 60ml Elderflower cordial and cook over a medium for approx 10 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft.

This next bit is easier with a hand blender, so blend away for a couple of minutes until you have a nice fruit purée. With no hand blender, push the stewed rhubarb through a fine sieve to break down the stringy bits of the rhubarb.

The purée should be cool enough or the next step;

3 eggs

40g cornflour

50g diced butter

Whisk the eggs and the cornflour together and whisk into the rhubarb purée and place into a clean saucepan and put in the butter.  Now for some patience. Warm gently over a low heat until lovely and thick. Using a suitable spoon stir continuously, you will notice the mixture thickens as the eggs cook out and the cornflour thickens. I also used a thermometer to ensure the temperature reached at least 75c. As the mix begins to thicken you may need to use a whisk so that you can blend out any lumps that may form. This could take about 10-15 minutes. Take care not to heat too quickly otherwise you will scramble the eggs. Once thickened, push once more through a sieve into a suitable bowl, to remove any lumps and leave to cool completely.

For the cake, pre heat the oven to Gas 3, 140c fan, 160c and line a 8” deep round cake tin. This is a one tin cake to slice into 3 once cooked and cooled.

5 large eggs

240g gluten free plain flour

zest of 2 lemons

220g caster sugar

240ml vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl (I use a stand mixer) and whisk on medium speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture is fully combined and is light and fluffy. Pour the whole batter into the prepared tin and bake long and slow for 60 – 70 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.

Once cool, slice the cake into 3 pieces – horizontally.

Then time to make the frosting.

200g cream cheese

300g icing sugar

120g soft butter

160ml Elderflower cordial

Beat the butter into the cream cheese for about 2 minutes, stir in the icing sugar and 40ml of cordial before beating until fully combined and you have a lovely velvety frosting.

To assemble – with the additional cordial

Place the 1st slice of cake on you stand and drizzle over the surface about 40ml of cordial and pipe some of the frosting around the rim of the cake and spread some of the curd into the middle of the cake slice. Place on the second slice and repeat. Place on the third slice of cake, drizzle over 40ml more of cordial and cover the top with the frosting.

If you can,  leave for about an hour or so, to let the cordial soak into the sponge before serving.

Store in the fridge for best results

 

Photo Taking and Baking

As I continue to procstibake – thinking about what to bake, then actually bake something completely different – the world continues to turn and move. So we should move with it.

In my vain effort to inspire, challenge and develop myself and my skills, I took myself off for a days’ workshop on food photography, this was being run by the lovely Jane at ‘Love your Lens’.

Now anyone can take a photo.  But not everyone can tell a story from the it, build and fill it, style it and yes, add the odd filter or two. It sounds so simple. Bringing that to a reality is a little less simple. Imagine a slice of lemon tart, are you sitting in the garden?  Eating on the patio table, in sunshine, with a napkin, a cup of tea, fork or spoon? And then try and put all that into a photo. Sounds easy enough. We’ll yes and indeed no.  Finding the right props then becomes a challenge, what goes with what and where does it go. It can get so confusing and time-consuming.  Time that we don’t always have.  Something I know I struggle with.

Making small changes as we go, to get the right frame and shot. Can you over think a photo? Possibly. Does the cake dictate the props or do the props dictate the cake? I guess its down to what you have at hand.

Our venue host for the day Nikki (@NikkiHillApothcary on Instagram who blends some amazing teas – amongst other amazing things – including a wonderful White Peony Tea!!!) was trying to take a photo of some granola, after 40 minutes she was still going, so much faffing.  Good faffing though, as the setting of the photo is so important. I haven’t even started on flat lays, light, white or dark boards and camera settings, ISO and aperture! It really is a minefield, one that with careful consideration, can be easily navigated. Time and patience will only tell, time to improve, time to set the scene. Have I captured it my latest photo. I will leave that to your careful consideration.

At least, for now I have come away from ‘auto’.

It was a great day, especially when i’ve saved up for the lovely, new, all singing-all-dancing camera 😀

And now for cake……

As this weeks sun disappears, Gluten Free Rhubarb, Orange and Gin Layer Cake.

In 3 parts – roasted fruit, cake making and fool making.

Pre heat the oven to gas 4! 180c! 165c fan, line 2×7” cake tins with greaseproof.

  • 1 orange
  • 3 sticks rhubarb
  • 50ml gin – I used Tiger Gin
  • 4 eggs
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 200g gluten free self raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 150g low or no fat yoghurt
  • 20g icing sugar

Firstly zest the orange and set aside.

Then remove the skin from the orange and cut the orange into segments. Squeeze the juice from what is left of the orange and reserve this. Cut one stick of rhubarb in half – trim the end and cut into 2 pieces. Cut these 2 pieces into 4 long pieces and place these with orange segments and 10ml of Tiger Gin, onto a baking tray and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Take the remaining rhubarb stalks, trim top and bottoms and chop into bite size pieces, place into a small saucepan, with 20ml gin, and additional tablespoon of caster sugar and half of the orange peel. Cover the saucepan and cook gently over a medium heat until the rhubarb is soft, this could take 5 – 10 minutes. Leave to cool in the saucepan for use later in the fool.

Whilst the fruit is cooling, time to make the cake.

Place the eggs, gluten free flour, Caster and brown sugars, orange zest and half the orange juice, vegetable oil, ginger into a large mixing bowl (I used my table top mixer with a whisk attachment) and whisk for about 4/5 minutes until fully combined, light and fluffy. Equally pour the batter into the 2 tins and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Before removing from the tins.

When the cake has cooled, you can make the fool. Alternatively you could make the fool, when the cake is in the oven and leave the fool in the fridge until the cake is cold.

Using your whisk (table top or hand-held), whisk the cream, yoghurt, 20ml gin, icing sugar until light, stiff and fluffy. Stir into this the stewed rhubarb.

Cut each cake through the middle, horizontally, so that you have 4 slices of cake. Place the first slice of cake onto your cake stand and cover with rhubarb fool, take the next slice of cake and repeat. Covering the top layer with fool and then the sides to finish. Decorate with the remaining roasted pieces of rhubarb and orange.

Sit comfortable with a cup of tea or a Tiger Gin and Tonic

Rhubarb time! Spring IS around the corner

At last! The ‘Beast from the East’ is, for now, being blown away across the Atlantic and we can finally welcome in the fresh, green (and pink)  shoots of new beginnings for 2018.

The sun is currently shining and for us at least, the snow has melted away.  We continue to strive to provide a good base from which Noah and his sister can grow and experience. With recent pressures on the NHS we are still waiting for his annual blood test – we can wait, he isn’t going anywhere and there are no over-riding concerns for him. He eats and he continues to grow.  The annual check up is certainly re-assuring though, as it confirms to us that he and us are going about his dietary needs in the right way.  I might bang on about cakes, but the neighbours do fairly well from the extra abundance of our baking exploits and trials.  The tribulations go in the bin

And so a little taste of Spring to brighten up you dinner/lunch table, a little piece of comfort food that will go down just as easily on its own, with cream, sour cream or a dollop of custard – the choice is yours.

Preheat your oven to Gas 3, 170c, 150c fan and line an 8″ round, deep cake tin.

For the cake;

  • 3 eggs
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g light brown sugar
  • 150g melted butter
  • 60ml sour cream
  • 150g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 220g chopped (Yorkshire) fresh rhubarb

For the crumble;

  • 70g Rice flour
  • 15g cornflour
  • 20g gluten free oats
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 50g butter

Make the crumble first by putting all the ingredients into a bowl and rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a mix that looks like breadcrumbs. Alternatively place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz for a few seconds to get the same desired effect, put finished product to one side.

For the sponge cake, again place all the ingredients into a large enough bowl and using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk altogether for a 4/5 minutes.  The mixture will become light and fluffy and thicken as you whisk.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth flat, scatter the chopped rhubarb, evenly over the surface of the cake, then scatter over the crumble mix.

Place into the oven and bake for 40- 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin, before turning out.

You could serve this warm and or cold, allow to cool a little though to let the crumble topping become crispy.

Further options – you could of course use ginger instead of cinnamon, you could add some strawberries as well as the rhubarb – keep the quantities roughly the same for the fruit though.