Looking for a simple rhubarb recipe that can rustled up on the spur of the moment, I experimented by adding rhubarb to a basic Victoria sponge which can be served warm or cold as a pudding or cake, with any accompaniment you choose or on its own to appreciate the taste of the ingredients.
For the cake you will first need to poach some rhubarb, which I can now recommend as the treatment of preference for rhubarb. To poach rhubarb, simply cut it into small slices and spread it in a single layer in a baking tin or dish, sprinkle it with sugar (about 4oz for 1lb of rhubarb), cover with foil or a lid and cook in a slow oven (Aga simmering oven, or 300°F/150°C/gas mark 2) till the rhubarb is cooked but still has ‘a bite’. It took about 45 minutes in my Aga, but check after 15 minutes and then every 10 minutes or so (more mature rhubarb may take a little longer). Allow to cool in the resultant syrup, and you will be amazed at the taste, texture and colour .
The cake is a basic 2 egg Victoria sponge, with ingredients as follows:
4 oz (125g) self raising flour and 1 level tsp baking powder
(or plain flour plus 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder)
4 oz (125g) caster sugar
4 oz (125g) butter or soft margarine with 70%+ fat content (butter gives a better taste)
2 eggs (our chickens don’t lay standard eggs, and I have never found size to be critical)
1) Use the all-in-one method by mixer, food processor or the hard way to mix all the ingredients together till smooth
2) Scrape mixture into a greased and base lined 7″ (18cm) deep cake tin
3) Drop 4oz (125g) cooled and drained poached rhubarb onto the surface of the mixture
4) Cook the cake in the Aga baking oven or at 340°F, 170°C or gas 3½ for about 45 minutes, covering loosely with foil if the cake is looking too brown
5) Turn out and allow to cool