Meal Type: Dessert
Cook time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 12 generous squares
We love the pink, forced rhubarb that brightens up the first few months of the year. It pairs brilliantly with the almonds and here, the ground almonds result in a lovely moist cake that can be eaten warm with cream or custard for pudding, or cold with a cup of tea.
- 250g pink rhubarb
- 200g butter, softened
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 100g plain flour
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Wash and dry the rhubarb and cut into 3cm chunks – if your pieces are very wide, cut them in half width-ways too. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little of the flour after each addition to prevent curdling. Add the dry ingredients and carefully mix together until thoroughly combined. Add the almond extract and enough milk to make a good dropping consistency.
- Stir in most of the rhubarb chunks, reserving a few pieces for the top.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and push the remaining pieces of rhubarb gently into the top of the batter.
- If you have a 3 or 4 oven Aga range cooker - place the cake on a grid shelf on the bottom runners of the baking oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and add the cold plain shelf above the cake if the top is getting too brown. The cake is cooked when the top springs back when lightly pushed.
- If you have 2 oven Aga range cooker – place the cake tin in the large ‘fits on runners’ roasting tin and hang on the bottom runners of the roasting oven with the cold shelf on the second runners. Bake for 35 minutes, checking the top after 25 minutes. If the cake is browning too much but is not quite cooked, move (still in the roasting tin) to the simmering oven and sit the roasting tin on the (now hot) cold shelf in the middle of the oven. Continue to bake in the simmering oven for a further 10-15 minutes until the top springs back when lightly pushed.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the tin before carefully releasing from the tin. Serve warm or leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares and dusting with icing sugar.
Tips for Aga range cookers...
- In a 2 oven Aga range cooker, placing the cake in the roasting tin and using the cold shelf helps shield the cake from the fierce heat. It creates a ‘baking oven’ within the roasting oven. However, after 25 minutes, the cold shelf will be hot and ineffective. If you are a frequent baker, it can be useful to have a second cold shelf for cakes that take longer to bake. Swapping the now hot cold shelf (!), for another cold one would mean there was no need to move the cake into the simmering oven for the final bit of cooking. If you do need to move the cake to the simmering oven, sitting the roasting tin on top of the (now hot) ‘cold’ shelf, raises the temperature of the simmering oven and ensures you can finish baking the cake without worrying about it sinking due to the sudden reduction in temperature.
- It may sound obvious, but don’t store your cold shelf in the cooker! It needs to be cold in order to be useful!