Rhubarb and chocolate wasn’t a combination I’d tried before, but what I had had in the past was dark chocolate teamed with blackcurrants. It was divine, and I wondered, when thinking about what to do with a recent batch of rhubarb, whether rhubarb and chocolate might work on the same sort of principle that that had. I flicked through Delia’s Chocolate book, but nothing particularly caught my eye (well, actually, many things caught my eye, but to be made another day.) So I just improvised a cake and crossed my fingers. Now then – obviously, we enjoy all of the cakes that I post here, but this one really was something quite special. Rich chocolatey sponge, soft, but slightly dense from the ground almonds, kept moist by the pieces of rhubarb, which burst through with fruitness. And everything heightened by the flavours of the crystallised ginger nestling in amongst the rhubarb, and the citrus notes of the orange glaze, which stickily sits on top of, and slightly seeps into, the cake. A definite winner, in our book!
150g SR flour
50g ground almonds
130g golden caster sugar
150g soft butter
50g good quality cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
150g rhubarb, chopped into small pieces (about 1cm x 1cm)
60g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
A splash of milk
50g icing sugar
Zest of 1 large orange
Juice of 1/2 orange
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric whisk to cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the flour, and whisk until combined.
Next, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a bowl. Stir through the ground almonds, then add this to the creamed butter mix. Start to combine it by folding through by hand, then simply use the electric whisk (you may need a splash of milk here) to make sure it gets mixed in completely.
Then, spoon half of the batter into your chosen cake pan (I use a silicone pan, which has no need to grease.) Level it out with a palette knife, then evenly cover with about two thirds of the rhubarb, followed by most of the chopped crystallised ginger. Top with the remaining cake mixture, roughly even out the top, then press in the remaining rhubarb.
Bake for about 35 – 45 minutes, depending on your oven.
Remove from the oven when done, and whilst still warm, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl. Add the orange zest, then mix in the orange juice until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake, making sure to focus on any cracks and crevices so that it can start to soak down a little into the top layer of the sponge. Sprinkle over the remaining crystallised ginger, then leave aside to cool, before turning out of the pan.