It was my birthday on the weekend. I’m not telling you this because I want you to shower me in wishes and gifts (though how cool would a gift shower be?!), I’m just mentioning it so you know why I was awake at 7am on a Saturday and felt the need to bake a cake. It’s true. Though I was awake much earlier than that. I always am, it’s just that when I wake at 5am I continue to lay there and pretend I don’t know. Sometimes it works, but not on my birthday. Plus I had a book review to write, AND a cake to bake!
Earlier in the week I came across a recipe for rhubarb cake on Not Without Salt. Rhubarb always reminds me of my beautiful and talented mother. She makes an amazing rhubarb sponge pudding that is one of my favourite comfort foods from my childhood. The idea of a rhubarb cake for my birthday seemed almost perfect.
I had luckily taken a lunch break during the week and procured some organic rhubarb so I was set.
2 cups rough chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup brown sugar
125g butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain flour
1 cup semolina flour
*1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon baking soda
*The original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. However, the book review that I got up early to write on this day was for The Flavour Thesaurus, which gave me an idea. Author Niki Segnit suggests that rhubarb goes exceptionally well with saffron. Now I have nothing against cinnamon. It’s actually an extremely useful herbal medicine. I just don’t like the taste. So I thought I’d take Niki’s advice and add saffron instead. It may be a pricey little substitution, but it makes for a gorgeous flavour and gives an almost exotic feel to this luscious cake.
Grease 9″ a round cake tin
In a small bowl, mix rhubarb and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and set aside for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl cream the butter and 1 cup brown sugar until light. Add the egg and vanilla.
Add the rhubarb mixture and yogurt and stir well.
In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients then add it to the rhubarb batter, stirring well to combine.
Spread in your prepared pan and bake for 50- 60 minutes or until the middle of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and cool on a wire rack.
Dust with icing sugar and serve slightly warm, or cold, or just however you want!