A couple of weeks ago I received some rhubarb in our organic vegetables…
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of these jewel-coloured stalks. I suspect it was the amount I consumed as a child. Up in the north east of England back in the 50s and 60s it was rare to see a vegetable plot or allotment without rhubarb and Dad grew his fair share and like all the eggs that were laid daily by a large number of hens they all landed on my Mum’s kitchen bench! The prolific egg production was due to our father’s love of all creatures and his inability to despatched the odd hen! The rhubarb simply grew with great enthusiasm,like everything else he planted.
We ate it raw, dipped in sugar and somehow I and my sister survived with teeth intact! We had it in crumbles, stewed and served with custard and sometimes it was added to other fruits to make jam.
Anyway, back to the here and now. It was The Lovely Husband who wondered how it would taste in a cake and so off I delved into my wonderful collection of cook books. I found the following recipe in Gaia’s Kitchen by Julia Ponsonby which has proved a lovely book for various reasons. Everything in the book has been tried and tested by Julia and her colleagues at Schumacher College in Devon which has been around since 1991. ‘It has been brewing up a unique pot pourri of human connections, raising ecological awareness and stimulating taste buds’, throughout the years.
The recipe that follows is the original, I have not messed with it at all which is pretty good for me and it feeds 10, in other words it cuts into 10 slices. However, if you so desire check out the book as alongside there are the quantities to feed 50!
RUBARB AND GINGER CAKE
4oz (1 scant cup) wholewheat flour
4oz (1scant cup) u bleached white flour
1teasp bicarbonate of soda
2teasp ground ginger
4oz(2/3 cup) muscavado sugar
2fl oz (1/4 cup) molasses
2oz (1/3 cup) crystallised ginger
12oz (2 cups) chopped rhubarb or apple
1. Remove leaves from rhubarb, rinse and dice into roughly 1cm pieces.
2. Chop up crystallised ginger quite finely.
3. Mix together flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger powder. Add rhubarb and ginger.
4. Melt the butter with the sugar and molasses. Cool slightly and blend in the milk and eggs.
5. Add to the dry ingredients, mix well.
6. Turn into prepared tin(s) and bake for 30-60 minutes at 180C (350F, gas mark 4).
I baked this mix in two loaf tins because it does say to make sure the mixture is no more than 5cm deep, to ensure even cooking.
This cake was a great success and we are just enjoying the second one, which I popped in the freezer. It is moist and luscious and definitely worth doing, and as mentioned in the ingredients when there’s no rhubarb pop in apple.
It was high time I popped a cake on my blog.