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20100713

Summer Double Rhubarb Sponge Cake Recipe

What can you do with all that rhubarb that is growing in the garden at this time of year? July is a little late in the season for rhubarb; it tends to become very tart in late season, so now is a good time to crop it heavily and have a good baking session.

I brought rather a lot of rhubarb in from my garden this week and spent a happy evening making rhubarb pies, rhubarb crumble and this rather interesting dish.

Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • Rhubarb
  • Granny Smith apples

Preparation
  • Wash and chop the rhubarb. Peel, core and chop the apples. Cook at a gentle heat with 1 cup of water until the fruit is tender. Stir in 1 cup of sugar
  • Separate the eggs
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together
  • Lightly whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar then stir into the flour
  • Strain the cooked fruit over the flour in a bowl then stir the juices into the flour until the mixture is smooth
  • Beat the egg whites until they are quite stiff. Make sure that the bowl and tools are perfectly clean and that no egg yolk has gotten into the whites. If everything is not thoroughly clean the whites may not stiffen
  • Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter and stir gently until the batter is perfectly smooth
  • Spoon the fruit into the bottom of an ovenproof dish then ladle the batter over the fruit
  • Place on a baking tray in a preheated oven at 350F for about an hour or until the top of the sponge cake is lightly browned
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before eating


John's Notes
I recommend using "cake and pastry" flour if you can get it. If not plain or all-purpose flour will do the job almost as well. I usually cook rhubarb very slowly in its own juices but I needed some extra juice to mix in with the sponge cake batter in this recipe; that is why I added a cup of water to the fruit before cooking.

I added apples to the rhubarb to help disguise any tartness that may be in the rhubarb. I use Granny Smith apples for cooking. I have heard that Spry apples work well too. Oh for those plump delicious Bramleys we used to get in England.

The sponge cake is flavoured with rhubarb juice and it sits on top of a bed of cooked rhubarb. Hence "double rhubarb sponge cake".

Double rhubarb sponge cake tastes at its best if eaten while still warm and fresh out of the oven. Sprinkle a little icing sugar over it and serve with whipped cream or custard.

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