Do you run a mile when you read cake-making instructions that go, 'cream butter and sugar until smooth and beat in eggs'? Then, here's the cake for you!
600g (about 1 lb 3 oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into short lengths 50g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine granulated) sugar 70g (2½ oz) butter, softened 300g (1 cup/10½ oz) sour cream 275g (9½ oz) brown sugar 2 large (size 7) free range eggs, at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract Finely grated zest 1 lemon 275g (9½ oz) plain flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp salt 1 tsp ground cinnamon Plain yoghurt or runny cream for serving Topping 50g (1¾ oz) brown sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Put rhubarb in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with caster sugar. Cover dish tightly with tin foil (aluminum), then cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the rhubarb, or until rhubarb just starts to soften. Remove from oven, cool, then strain, (the juices are delicious over porridge).
2 Line a 22cm (8-9”) loose-bottomed cake tin on the bottom and sides with baking (parchment) paper. See pics below and instructions here Lining a cake tin.
3 Put butter and sour cream in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a whipping blade (failing a whipping blade, use the chopping blade). Process for 30 seconds. Stop machine and add brown sugar and process for 1 minute. Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork to break them up, then add to sour cream mixture with vanilla extract and lemon zest. Process for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
4 Stir flour, soda, salt and cinnamon together, then sift over the top of the bowl of whipped sour cream and egg and fold in using a large spoon.
5 Tip three-quarters of the cake batter into the tin, spread it out as best you can with a flat-bladed knife, then put in the drained rhubarb. Put the rest of the cake mixture on top in spoonfuls and gently spread it over the top of the rhubarb. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
6 Bake for 50-60 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F), or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and cool in the tin for 45 minutes. Carefully remove sides of cake tin and leave cake to cool completely. Lay a second cake rack on top of cake, invert, remove cake tin base and paper and invert cake on to a serving plate. Serve with a bowl of plain yoghurt or runny cream.
Rhubarb and cinnamon give this cake its tangy spicy flavour, and sour cream a lightness to the texture.
You can make it with apple – choose a tangy type of apple like Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced – or a mix or apple and rhubarb.
Photograph by Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com