If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen me posting about this rhubarb that I managed to grab from my grandparents garden last weekend. My papa grows all sorts of fruit + veg and it’s amazing to be able to enjoy seasonal produce fresh out the ground! Since this was an unplanned addition to my fridge, I didn’t have any particular recipe planned. Most of my forays into baking with rhubarb have involved pies of some kind, but this time I fancied mixing things up a bit.
I had a scour of my cupboards and settled on this rhubarb almond sponge cake. The flavour combination of almond and rhubarb is a pretty standard one, and there’s good reason for that. The mild nutty flavour of ground almonds perfectly mellows out the sharp, sweet rhubarb.
There are 3 parts to this cake: a moist almond sponge, rhubarb sweetened whipped cream and the rather impressive (if I do say so myself!) rhubarb lattice on top. Now, I’m not going to lie to you and pretend the lattice is easy to knock together. It isn’t – it’s fiddly, and a bit of a faff, but doesn’t it look great!?
If you fancy making this just for a weekend treat, I’d advise roughly chopping the rhubarb and ditching the whole lattice thing. However, if you’ve got a more special occasion in mind then go for the lattice. Just know that it is a little time consuming!
- 400g unsalted butter, softened
- 400g caster sugar
- 200g plain flour, sifted
- 200g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 8 medium eggs, beaten
- 150g caster sugar
- 200ml water
- 500g rhubarb (about 6-8 stalks), peeled into thin strips
- 150ml double cream
- 50g icing sugar, sifted
- rhubarb syrup (from making rhubarb topping above)
- Preheat oven to 180c. Cream together butter and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, almonds and baking powder. Add to butter/sugar mixture and mix. Gently fold in beaten eggs.
- Split batter between two 20cm square tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make the rhubarb topping: In a large pan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is just simmering.
- Over a low heat, add a few rhubarb strips at a time and poach until just soft, about a minute. Remove to a paper towel to cool. Repeat for all rhubarb strips, then form into a lattice on a large baking tray or chopping board. Set aside the poaching syrup and allow to cool.
- To make the rhubarb cream filling, whip together the cream, icing sugar and 3-4 tablespoons of the cooled rhubarb syrup until it just thickens.
- Once the sponges have cooled, place one on top of the rhubarb lattice. Spread the rhubarb cream on top of this before placing the second sponge on top of that. Carefully place a light baking tray/chopping board over the sponge and turn over so that the rhubarb lattice is on top. Drizzle over any remaining syrup and serve.