NEW OVEN. NEW OVEN. Look at it! Oh it’s so pretty! Never have I been so grateful to have a working oven (mostly because I’ve never been without one for FOUR WEEKS before, but whatever). As soon as the electrician left after fitting it on Friday afternoon I made flapjacks and salted caramel tart, and I have all the baking plans for my days off this week. Bread. Quiche. Granola. Cake. More cake. Everything I have been waiting the last month for. So much joy! Hurrah!
But, going back to the beginning of this week, I had no idea that by the end of it I would finally have a new oven, so I hedged my bets, and whilst spending a lovely Easter Sunday at my parents’, decided it was best to bake some cake there in their functioning oven. It’s rhubarb season at the moment, so the Hummingbird Bakery’s ‘Rhubarb and Almond Loaf’ seemed a perfect choice – and I got to go down the garden and pick fresh rhubarb. So good! (note: I still have rhubarb that I was given from Oli’s parents’ garden about 4-5 weeks ago, which I can finally use, so I’ll be making this again this week). This is the most moist cake you will ever eat, so make sure you drain the stewed rhubarb properly, otherwise it will take forever to cook (it takes an hour anyway, and that’s without any accidental rhubarb juice.)
Rhubarb and Almond Loaf (from Hummingbird Bakery’s ‘Cake Days’)
4-5 stalks of rhubarb, chopped into 2cm pieces
70g (2 1/2oz) caster sugar
20g (3/4oz) unsalted butter
190g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened (plus extra for greasing)
140g (5oz) plain flour
190g (7oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs
1tsp baking powder
50g (1 3/4oz) ground almonds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
25ml (1fl oz) whole milk
100g (3 1/2oz) stewed rhubarb (see above)
15g (1/2oz) flaked almonds
1. Preheat oven to 170C (325F), Gas mark 3. Grease loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.
2. Place rhubarb in saucepan with sugar, butter and 50ml (1 3/4fl oz) of water. Cook on a medium heat, stirring frequently until rhubarb softens. Remove pan from hob and set aside to cool completely.
3. Using a hand-held electric whisk or freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time mixing well on a medium speed.
4. Sift together flour, baking powder, ground almonds, cinnamon and ginger, then add half the mixture to the creamed butter and eggs, followed by half the milk. Mix well after each addition. Add the remaining dry ingredients and rest of the milk.
5. Stir in the stewed rhubarb so it is mixed evenly. Pour into prepared loaf tin and sprinkle flaked almonds on the top.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50-60 mins. When cooked the sponge should be firm to the touch or a skewer inserted to the middle should come out clean. Allow loaf to cool for a while before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Next week: all the things! and New York Cheesecake