Sunday, 20 April 2014
Just Add Custard (or a poncey quenelle of Mascarpone): Rhubarb and Ginger Pudding Cake
I love the term 'pudding cake' and I think it's only Tamasin Day Lewis who uses the term, but it is completely the right phrase to describe this cake. You see, some cakes, the sandwich cake variety, filled with buttercream or cream cheese frosting or something is definitely for an afternoon tea, or it's birthday cake maybe. This cake however has some kind of gravitas, lacking in creamy frippery and is made for a leisurely after dinner lingering, served just slightly warm, needing only a little custard, a poncey quenelle of Mascarpone, or maybe one of those lovely after dinner sweet wines which I keep promising myself but never actually buy and drink.
I have made enough cakes to have a working knowledge of the basics of how one is put together and I thought it might be nice to combine rhubarb and ginger to make something which was more about flavour than sweetness. Plus, I picked up three sticks of rhubarb in the supermarket for 10p, keeping my irritating habit of not being able to pass the throw outs in the supermarket. Me loves a bargain.
Anyway, I have very little to say other than here is the recipe:
Rhubarb and Ginger Pudding Cake
Makes a 23cm cake
For the cake:
Three sticks of rhubarb
60 g and 180 g caster sugar, divided
150g butter at room temperature
3 eggs at room temperature plus 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g full fat Greek yoghurt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp of ground ginger
Good pinch of salt
Three balls of stem ginger, chopped finely
For the syrup:
The juice from poaching the rhubarb
A couple of tbsp. of ginger syrup (from the jar of stem ginger)
To serve, custard maybe, or mascarpone, with a little chopped stem ginger scattered on top. Or cream... Cream would be really nice!!
Pre-heat the oven to 150c and butter a 23cm springform cake tin, lining the bottom with greaseproof paper and then buttering the top of the greaseproof paper.
Firstly, poach the rhubarb. Cut the sticks of rhubarb into inch pieces and put into a dish which will hold the rhubarb snugly in one layer. Scatter about 60g of sugar on top of the rhubarb, cover the dish with foil and put it into oven for about 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft but not losing its shape. Allow to cool.
Increase the temperature to 180c
In a mixer, cream together the butter and the 180g sugar together until light and fluffy.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, the baking powder, the ground ginger and the salt.
Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after addition. By the time you have added the third egg, the mixture might look a bit curdled so add a couple of tablespoons of the flour mixture. Then add the vanilla and yoghurt and mix to combine.
Add the flour mixture in thirds, mixing it in only until it is combined. Do not over beat.
Lastly, add the rhubarb to the batter mixture, reserving the poaching liquid for later. Mix only until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Smooth the top with a spatula, and place in the middle of the oven for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If it is starting to brown too much without cooking all the way through, cover the cake with foil until it is cooked through.
Meanwhile, mix together the poaching liqueur and the stem ginger syrup. Heat the syrup gently. Once the cake comes out of the oven, make holes in the top with a skewer or toothpick and pour the syrup over the top of the cake. The cake will absorb the syrup because both are warm.
Allow to cool until the cake just has a hint of warmth to it. Take out of the tin and slice. Serve with anything I might have suggested in my ramblings above.