If there’s one thing I learnt from being in England, it’s that Australia is seriously missing out on some brilliant yoghurt flavours. I’m kidding, but not as much as you’d think…
One of my favourite things to do in a new place (especially a new country) is go straight to the supermarket! Yes, I know, I’m 80 years old and should have been born 70 years ago, but it’s true! I love seeing all the different types, brands and flavours of food that you can buy in different places. For instance, in the UK, there is so much ready-to-eat or heat-and-eat food that it just doesn’t compete with Australia. You could easily eat ready-to-eat meals for a year and still be reasonably healthy and not entirely sick of packaged food – there’s just so much of it (literally several aisles in each supermarket), and quite a bit of variety too! But that’s more alarming than anything else.
Whereas the yoghurt aisle…that’s a happier, less soul-destroying place. In Australia the yoghurt aisle isn’t really an aisle: it’s usually just a little pocket in the cold section of the supermarket tucked in between the cream and the cheese. The standard flavours include: strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, mango and apricot. These sound wonderfully exciting until you’ve eaten them for 12 years and you’re finally rather sick of apricot flavoured yoghurt. But in the UK, there are wonderful, exciting flavours like elderflower, gooseberry and, wait for it…rhubarb! Now, I’m sure that if I ate British yoghurt for 12 years I would feel equally disenchanted with these flavours – but to me, right now, they are new and exciting, and who wouldn’t want rhubarb flavoured yoghurt, or elderflower flavoured yoghurt?!
And so, it won’t surprise you that I ate a lot of yoghurt in the UK: it was entirely necessary to enjoy as much rhubarb yoghurt as I could before heading back to Australia where I’d have to search for some better yoghurt flavours! And as it’s now winter in Australia, and therefore rhubarb season, it also won’t surprise you that I will be buying a lot of rhubarb and making a lot of rhubarb flavoured things. Because the thing is, while rhubarb yoghurt is really great, rhubarb is also great for loads of other things (like cake). So, bring on rhubarb season and the many manifestations of rhubarb baked goods to come.
Makes one 23cm cake | Serves 10-12 | Allow 70 minutes
1 cup caster sugar
110g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp honey
1/3 cup flaked almonds
- Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced. Line the bottom of a 23cm springform tin with baking paper.
- Cook the rhubarb: trim the top and bottom of the rhubarb so there are no leaves and rinse well. Cut the rhubarb into pieces about 1 inch long and place in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle over honey and bake for about 30 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender, but not too mushy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and the butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
- Add the yogurt, vanilla and almond extracts and beat well.
- Mixing on the lowest speed, gradually add the flour, almond meal, bi-carb, cinnamon and salt until just combined – don’t over beat the mixture.
- Spread half of the cake batter into the bottom of prepared tin, and top with half of the rhubarb. Repeat with remaining batter and rhubarb so that the rhubarb tops the cakes. Sprinkle the cake with the almonds and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean – it may be hard to tell with the rhubarb being a bit sticky so keep an eye on the colour of the cake, it should be golden brown, and when you press the top of the cake it should resist slightly.
- Remove the cake form the oven and set it to cool. Serve warm with cream, ice cream or custard, or just as it is!
- This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 2 days 0 it’s so moist that it really won’t keep long. It will last longer in the fridge, but it’s a good idea to warm slices in the microwave before eating.
- You can use uncooked rhubarb if you like – it will be soft by the time the cake is baked. I like to cook it because it’s more mushy and the honey syrup that’s leftover is a great addition to the cake.
- If you wanted to make this cake gluten-free, you could substitute almond meal or gluten free flour for the self-raising flour.