I have a cold. The beloved has a cold. Small has a cold. Fun times. Day spent mainly curled up in an armchair, drowsily feeding a drowsy small. Then I remembered we had rhubarb in the house. Glorious, sweet, tangy rhubarb. Perfect for cold wintry days. Turn it into crumble or sponge pudding, pie or fool, something very American called grunt, or just stew it and heap it over vanilla ice-cream, or tuck it under custard. Or make cake.
Wintery Whinypants Cake
~300 grams of fresh rhubarb (roughly half a bunch, exact amount not essential – just go with your preference, although a massive amount will destabilise the cake a little)
310 grams of self-raising flour, sifted
250 grams of brown sugar
1 vanilla pod
125 grams of plain yoghurt
125 grams of unsalted butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (170 fan forced)
Butter and line a 20cm springform tin
Crack your eggs into a small bowl. Put your yoghurt in another small bowl.
Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the yoghurt. Immerse the split pod in the cracked eggs. Set aside (If you like, you could do this a few hours ahead of time, putting the bowls in the fridge. If you were super keen, you could put your uncracked eggs in an airtight container with the vanilla pod for 24 hours beforehand to really infuse the flavour in. Conversely, if you can’t be bothered with any of this faffing about, just use a teaspoon of vanilla extract.)
Trim the leaves and ends from the stalks of rhubarb. Slice finely (<1/2 cm thick if you can).
Put the flour, sugar and rhubarb in a large bowl and combine well.
Remove the vanilla pod from the eggs and beat them lightly.
Add the eggs, yoghurt and melted butter to the bowl with the flour, sugar and rhubarb. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Spoon into your prepared cake tin, smoothing out the top. The mixture is very thick but don’t worry, this is just how it should be.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on the force of your oven. It is done when an inserted skewer comes out clean and the top is a little springy.
Leave in the tin to cool for ~15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack.
Eat while it’s still warm if you can, drizzled with a little cream, or served with a scoop of ice-cream.