Thursday, 14 June 2012

Rhubarb, Ginger and Polenta Cake

Today I saw 500g of rhubarb reduced to 29p - God's way of telling me to buy it and bake a rhubarb cake. Who am I to argue? I make this cake every summer and it's a firm favourite. 

The cake is excellent served hot like a pudding (your mother was lying when she said hot cake gave you tummy cake. She was just saving it all for herself while you ran off to play). It's also great served with a cup of tea in the afternoon or for breakfast (ahem) apparently. The polenta - against man and God in a savoury dish - comes into its own in the cake as it lends a pleasing grittiness and helps soak up the juice from the rhubarb.

Here's the recipe:

500g rhubarb, cleaned and cut into 1 cm slices
8 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, chopped finely
5 tablespoons of syrup from the stem ginger
300g caster sugar
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
150g polenta
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g natural yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 and line and grease a 9 inch/24cm springform tin.

Mix the chopped rhubarb and stem ginger with 100g of the caster sugar.

Cream the butter and remaining 200g caster sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs, vanilla extract and ginger syrup. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and polenta and add this to the mix. Then add the yoghurt and stir in the chopped rhubarb and ginger.

Bake for about an hour until the cake is springy to the touch. After 35 minutes of baking, cover the cake with foil to prevent the top from burning. Let the cake cool in the tin on a wire rack. If you can...

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