This cake would have been wonderful…if I hadn’t over baked it!
I decided to try out my home grown rhubarb this week. I love rhubarb, its a funny plant and I find most people say they hate it, even though they have no idea what it tastes like. I remember dipping it in sugar and eating it raw when I was young, but when we stopped growing it in the garden I stopped eating it, and over time thought I disliked it. Many years later I decided to try it again and I’m glad I did!
I’ve made puddings with rhubarb before but I wanted to try something new this week. I had decided to make a rhubarb-strawberry pudding cake but after I had bought all the ingredients I changed my mind, I wasn’t in the mood for pudding any more and this strawberry and rhubarb coffee cake from Allrecipes.com seemed like a winner.
I pretty much stuck to the recipe, the only changes I made was that I used fresh strawberries instead of frozen and added two tablespoons of water to the filling mixture just to help the sugar dissolve. The other change I made was that I had to make it in a 20 cm round, loose bottom cake tin as I didn’t have a 9 x 13 inch tin.
- 135 g caster sugar
- 45 g corn flour
- 245 g chopped rhubarb (about two large stalks or three small ones)
- 250 g fresh strawberries halved
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 375 g plain flour
- 200 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 225 g cold butter chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g caster sugar
- 60 g plain flour
- 55 g cold butter chopped
It was really very simple (follow these directions) and each component was tasting and looking good. I couldn’t stop myself from sticking my finger in the rhubarb and strawberry filling, it was so delicious. I was a little worried that my cake tin was a bit too small and I contemplated making two cakes, but as there didn’t seem to be much cake batter I decided against it. However, once I’d finished layering in the batter, filling and topping I really didn’t have much room left for it too rise. Oh well, too late now. I stuck a baking tray underneath the cake tin just in case it did over flow.
The recipe said too cook it at 175 degrees C for 45-50 minutes. I reduced the heat to 160 degrees as I have a fan forced oven (not sure if I should have done this or not). After 45 minutes I checked it and the centre seemed to be uncooked so I stuck it back in for another 15 minutes. I then poked the skewer in a few more times and the centre still seemed raw. I decided, as it was a loose bottom tin, to try and take the ring off so I could have a look at the sponge. Hmm, bad idea, I had a feeling the whole thing was going to fall apart so I quickly put the ring back on and cooked it for another 15 minutes and also turned the temperature up by about 10 degrees, because I had other things to do and I was getting impatient. The cake then started to smell like it was burning. It still didn’t seem quite done in the middle but with all that filling and the topping it was really hard to tell whether it was cooked or not. Turns out that I probably shouldn’t have put it in for the last 15 minutes. Never mind, the flavours are still great and the thick crumbly topping is awesome!
If I make this cake again, I will use the correct size cake tin, but I probably won’t have one so instead I will do the following:
- Bake for 45-60 mins at 160 degrees C
- As the filling sinks as the cake cooks, put 3/4 of the cake batter into the bottom of the pan, then the filling then the remaining 1/4 cake batter (this may not cover all of the filling) and then the topping
- Don’t spread the filling to the edges, leave a 1-2 cm border to try to prevent the filling from exploding all around the edges
- More filling wouldn’t go amiss as it seems to disappear as the cake cooks, but then I really would need a bigger cake tin.
In summary, this cake has wonderful flavours and should be made. My boys and husband ate it all so it couldn’t have been that bad. I think as my cake is a little dry around the edges it would be nice to warm the left overs up in the microwave slightly and pore over some custard. Mmmmm.