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White chocolate & Forced Rhubarb Cake

We've started harvesting the first of this year's forced rhubarb at the Market Garden. We grow it in a dark tunnel within a big polytunnel. Traditionally forced rhubarb is grown in heated sheds, but our way means we rely on the power of the sun to provide the warmth - so we are as eco as can be. We pick the stalks in the dark by candlelight to prevent the daylight seeping in and disturbing the process.

Forced rhubarb is more delicate than the outdoor grown and has a subtler flavour, although it still has a sourness that needs to be balanced with some sweetness. I personally think the outdoor rhubarb is better for crumbles and pies teamed with custard or cream. And I prefer baking cakes and muffins with forced rhubarb. Last year I made 

Rhubarb and Vanilla Yoghurt Cake

 which was delicious, but I think it pairs best with chocolate, especially white chocolate. This cake I baked today is chewy, sour, sweet and utterly moreish. And definitely my new favourite for forced rhubarb.

Ingredients:

160g of unsalted butter, softened

180g caster sugar

3 medium free range eggs

150g plain flour

50g ground almonds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g forced rhubarb, chopped into chunks

100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

Method:

Grease and line a 9" cake tin.

Cream the butter with the sugar.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly between.

Add the flour and mix.

Add the baking powder and ground almonds and mix again.

Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Add the white chocolate chunks to the mixture and gently mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.

Arrange the rhubarb pieces on top of the cake batter. (They will sink to the bottom of the tin as the cake cooks).

Bake at 160 degrees C for about 45 minutes.