Well it seems I have harvested the last of the rhubarb for this winter and as it is such a precious, seasonal delicacy, I wanted a recipe that would really do it justice. I found just the thing in Sophie Hansen’s recipe from her gorgeous book called Local is Lovely. This book is filled with practical and delicious recipes set out in my favourite format of Seasonal Contents. It is quickly becoming my ‘go-to’ recipe book and it’s just the right size for carrying around in my handbag! I altered Sophie’s recipe slightly to suit my own preferences but if you would like to try the original or any of Sophie’s gorgeous recipes, you can buy her book here or visit her website here.
275g rhubarb, cut into cubes
zest and jusice of one orange (I used a blood orange because they are in season right now)
1 cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
150g unsalted butter
1 large egg
¼ cup buttermilk
180g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a cake tin with a removable base. Place the rhubarb, zest, juice, 1/3 cup of the caster sugar and the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean in an ovenproof dish and toss to combine. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Cream the butter and remaining 2/3 cup caster sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the egg then fold in the buttermilk, almond meal and baking powder. Spread the mixture into the prepared cake tin then push the rhubarb pieces into and over the batter. You can pour a little of the rhubarb juice over the cake but be careful not to make the mixture too wet. Reserve the rest of the syrup for serving. Bake for 30 minutes.
For the topping, melt the butter and stir in sugar and almonds. Spread over the half baked cake, reduce oven to 160C and bake for a further 20 minutes.
Cool the cake in the oven and serve with cream and a drizzle of left over rhubarb and orange syrup.