I’m not a big cake lover really. I much prefer something custard-y like a creme brulee or a warm Portuguese tart or even a perfectly wobbly pannacotta served with lots of thick cream. I’ve previously described in great detail my love for cream, so we won’t go there again.
To be honest, I almost always prefer cheese and wine to finish off a meal but I digress. I’ve tempted you with all this sweet description and you’ve still learnt nothing about this cake which you no doubt drooled over when you arrived here today. It’s actually to celebrate a birthday.
Now what was I trying to talk about? Oh yes, rhubarb. I received a large bunch in my weekly organic box and wondered what on earth I was going to do with it. Firstly, I sliced up about 4 stalks and added them to a small pot with 3 peeled and sliced apples, half a cup of caster sugar and two tablespoons of water. I stewed it all gently for 20 minutes and then cooled it in the fridge ready to use on my porridge tomorrow – rhubarb and apple compote in under 30 mins, super easy and equally delicious*.
Then I only had 2 cups of rhubarb left and I thought ‘I’m going to have to make a cake’. When I mentioned this to The Bear he was extremely excited because we don’t eat sweet things often (despite what you might think with all this dessert talk).
Since the rhubarb was gorgeously organic and fresh I tried to keep the sugar and fat levels fairly low and make it even healthier with wholemeal flour. This makes the batter very thick and the resulting cake very dense, but the rhubarb lends a nice juicy contrast. You must of course promise me you’ll serve it with either cream, custard or strawberry yoghurt.
Last, but not least – Happy Birthday to my lovely brother in law Jmez. This piece of cake is for you! (Come around and have a real piece if you like).
Happy cooking, Christie
*The compote isn’t only great for porridge and muesli you know, I’ll also sneak a few spoonfuls after dinner with a small dollop of custard or with low fat strawberry yoghurt at my 4pm slump.
Rhubarb and coconut cake
60g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups plain Greek style yoghurt
2 cups rhubarb, sliced in 2-3cm lengths
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line a 24cm cake tin and let the greaseproof paper hang over the edge a few centimetres – this will make it easier to lift the cake out at the end.
Cream the butter, sugar, coconut and lemon zest with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.
Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl. Add the yoghurt and fold all ingredients gently to combine. The mixture will be very thick, if it’s too dry add an extra tablespoon of yoghurt.
Fold in the rhubarb and pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 75 minutes, then cool on a wire rack, sprinkle with extra coconut and serve with cream, custard or strawberry yoghurt.