I have a new-found love for stewed rhubarb – its sweet, slightly tart flavour makes it the perfect addition for cakes and loaves. The unusually rosy coloured plant is also incredibly versatile – you can use it as a jam, a substitute for banana in bread or even topped with mascarpone on your French toast in the morning. The possibilities are endless.
I couldn’t resist buying a bunch of this blushing beauty at the Adelaide Farmers Market on Sunday as a base for this Rhubarb and Almond Loaf. This is based on a sumptuous recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. The addition of rhubarb makes this loaf impossibly moist and the crunchy nut topping gives it a lovely texture. It’s best served at room temperature or fresh from the oven with a generous dollop of cream or ice cream. You may find yourself coming back for seconds, or even thirds!
For the Stewed Rhubarb – You will need
- 275g or one small bunch of rhubarb – leaves removed and chopped into 2cm slices
- 60g of caster sugar
- 20g unsalted butter
For the Sponge – You will need
- 190g unsalted butter, softened
- 140g plain flour
- 190g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 25ml whole milk
- 15g flaked or slivered almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (Gas Mark 3), then grease a 8.5 x 17.5cm loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.
2. Add rhubarb, sugar, butter and 1 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan. Cook on a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb softens and develops a stewed texture. Allow to cool in pan.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, cinnamon and ginger, then add half of this mixture to the creamed butter and eggs, followed by half the milk. Mix well after each addition. Add the remaining dry ingredients and then the rest of the milk.
5. Stir in the cooled stewed rhubarb, making sure it is evenly mixed into the batter, then pour into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.
6. Bake in the oven for 50 – 60 minutes. When cooked, the sponge should be firm to the touch or a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.