If you were to make a list of truly traditional British puddings (that's desserts if you are American) rhubarb and custard will be near the top. So when Arthur, my allotment friend, gave me a batch of rhubarb I knew I had to bake a Rhubarb and Custard Cake.
I must confess, before I came to live in Britain I wasn't a fan of rhubarb. I often wondered who was the first person to be brave enough to taste rhubarb for the first time. I mean, if anything ever looked poisonous, it's rhubarb.
But the British love it. You can bet if they have a veg plot, they are growing rhubarb. I really had no choice but to love rhubarb, too. Shall we bake a cake?
Begin by slicing 200 grams of rhubarb, sprinkle over 25 grams of sugar and roast it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200C/400F. When the rhubarb is tender, take it from the oven and let it cool. Turn the heat down in the oven to 180C/350F.
You will also need some custard. I had a tub of instant custard powder left over from baking Custard Cream Cookies so I made custard according to their instructions and let it cool before making the batter. You can use a tin of prepared custard if you like.
Prepare a 6 inch round, loose bottom cake tin by buttering the sides and bottom and placing a circle of baking paper on the bottom of the tin.
Ingredients for the cake batter:
125 butter or baking margarine at room temperature
75 grams prepared custard at room temperature
125 grams self-rising flour*
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 grams caster sugar
Whisk together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisk until they are well combined. Stir in the custard, baking powder, and vanilla extract.
Add the flour and gently stir until every thing is combined.
Spoon one third of the batter into the bottom of the prepared cake tin. Place one half of the roasted rhubarb over the batter. Spoon over another third of the batter and top with the remaining rhubarb. Spoon over the final third of the cake batter making sure to spread it to cover the rhubarb. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top of the cake, if you like.
Place the filled cake tin on a baking sheet and place it in the oven Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If you think the cake is getting too brown, cover it with a bit of baking foil.
Leave the cake in the tin to cool a bit before removing. Have a slice of warm cake if you can't resist...with or without extra custard on the side.
*I substituted two tablespoons of custard powder for part of the self-rising flour. I think it added extra flavour and make the sponge extra light.
If you would like to bake a bigger Rhubarb and Custard Cake CLICK HERE to see the original recipe for 23 cm cake.