roasted strawberry buttermilk cake as the starting point for this cake. I replaced the butter with olive oil, the buttermilk with low-fat organic yogurt and the strawberries with rhubarb. I also substituted some of the flour with polenta and ground almonds (I brought flaked almonds, toasted them and then ground them up in a food-processor to make the ground almonds - I think it brings out more the of flavour). A little freshly grated ginger snuck in the mixture too (I couldn't help myself) and the cake was topped with some leftover flaked almonds.
This cake feels substantial and wholesome. It's not too sweet, but not too overpowered by the rhubarb. I love the layers of flavour and texture: moist cake, soft, tangy rhubarb and crunchy almonds on top. It's a tall cake too, a bit sunken in the middle (oops) and coated copiously with icing sugar.
Rhubarb and Almond Cake
2 tablespoons caster sugar
150g plain flour
100g flaked almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon baking powder
100g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
350g natural yogurt
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
40g flaked almonds, to top the cake (optional)
Start by roasting the rhubarb. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Cut the rhubarb into slices roughly 6cm/2½in long and mix them in a bowl with the caster sugar. Spread the rhubarb slices onto the greaseproof paper and place in the oven for about 15 minutes until soft, but not too mushy.
Butter a 23cm round loose-bottomed cake tin. Turn the oven up to 200°/400°F.
Grind the flaked almonds and polenta together in a food processor until they are fine and lump-free. Mix them together in a large bowl with the flour, baking powder and sugar.
In a smaller bowl or jug, mix together the eggs, oil, yogurt and vanilla extract. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no lumps remain. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and top batter with the roasted rhubarb.
Bake the cake in the middle of your oven for 30 - 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Sprinkle the almonds over the top of the cake whilst still warm, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream.