by Karen Douglas

Rhubarb seems to be one of those polarising foods; you either love or hate it.

Luckily I love it and when I was a child my mother would harvest rhubarb from the garden, every year, and make stewed rhubarb. She would then team the stewed rhubarb with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for our dessert. I would always let half of my ice cream melt into a creamy puddle before scooping up spoonful after spoonful of ruby red fruit and melted ice cream.

Despite the fact that rhubarb is widely used in pies and desserts it is actually a vegetable not a fruit although interestingly, according to Wikipedia, in 1947 a court in New York deemed it to be a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties.

This winter dessert is a combination of the tartness of rhubarb and the zingy warming taste of ginger. The cake for this dessert has been adapted from this fresh ginger cake by David Lebovitz.

Recipe

Ingredients

Cake recipe adapted from David Lebovitz “Ready for Dessert”.

  • 1 Bunch Rhubarb (approx. 300-400gms when cleaned and chopped)
  • 145gm (5.1oz) caster sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon water
  • 40gm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 170gm (5.9oz) cup golden syrup
  • 100gm (3.5oz) cup caster sugar
  • 90gm (3.1oz) vegetable oil
  • 175gm (6.1oz) plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 100gm (3.5oz) water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg at room temperature.

Method

Chop off the ends of rhubarb. Wash and peel off any stringy parts. Chop into 3 – 5cm pieces.

Place rhubarb, sugar and water in a saucepan stirring over heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until rhubarb is soft. I prefer the rhubarb to be broken completely down.

Drain off any excess liquid. Place rhubarb in a medium baking dish (mine was 22cm x 17cm). Set aside until the cake batter has been made.

Preheat oven to 175°C.

Peel ginger and slice finely, then chop slices until you have very fine small pieces.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and vegetable oil. Once mixed, add the golden syrup and mix again.

In a medium bowl place the flour, cinnamon, cloves and pepper and mix together.

In a medium saucepan place the water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the baking soda and mix.

Add the water and baking soda to the golden syrup mix and stir until combined.

Add the ginger to the golden syrup mix and stir to combine.

Gradually add the flour mix to the golden syrup mix and whisk together until completely combined. Add egg and mix until combined.

Pour gently over the rhubarb.

Place on a baking tray and bake at 175°C for approximately 40-50 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean.

Serve hot.

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