Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard
Happy weekend folks. It's hard to write here today with the world changing events that are going on in the USA. This weekend also marks the one year anniversary of us losing our old lady cat, Maisie. So it's a difficult one to get through, but get through it we must and I'm trying to make it a little easier by making it one of gentle comforts. From a long walk in the woods, reading my new pile of library books, catching up with Brooklyn Nine Nine to drinking a large glass of red wine with a bowl of curry on Saturday night, it's going to be quiet and slow, just the way I like it. I've also baked for the first time in ages, mostly as we've still been working our way through the Christmas cake but I haven't felt particularly inspired in the kitchen until now.
For the month of January the shining star in the vegetable world is the Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, grown right here in West Yorkshire. I've baked with it many times, including this simple rhubarb cake, white chocolate and forced rhubarb cake and a rhubarb bakewell tart - all of which are delicious, but this cake I've made today is better than any of these previous ones - it is a cake that warms the throat from the cardamom and that instantly transports you back to childhood with the layer of Ambrosia custard. It is a cake that soothes and comforts, that nourishes the soul. And it is everything I need this weekend.
150g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
4 free-range medium sized eggs
200g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
100ml ready-made custard
1 tbsp cornflour
For the topping:
25g unsalted butter
50g golden caster sugar
2 - 3 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 sticks of forced rhubarb, chopped into 10cm pieces.
Make the topping first - In a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar. Add the cardamom, vanilla extract and the rhubarb. Let it stew for a few minutes until the rhubarb is coated in the syrup. Leave to cool.
Heat the custard gently in a small pan with 1 tbsp cornflour until it thickens. Leave to cool.
Grease and line a 23cm cake tin. Pre-heat over to 180 degrees C.
Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.
Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Then fold into the wet mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
Spoon the cooled custard over the batter.
Add the rhubarb mixture to the top spreading out evenly. Reserve a little of the syrup.
Bake in the oven for about 35 - 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool then pour over the remainder of the syrup.
Adapted from the book Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell.