RHUBARB, APPLE AND GINGER CAKE
For the fruit puree:
- Approx 180g apple (peeled, cored and chopped) and rhubarb (remove stringy bits)
- 1 teaspoon ginger preserve OR half teaspoon powdered ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar
- Juice half a lemon
For the cake:
- 225g butter
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 300g plain flour
- 2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
- Topping: Preserved ginger and golden caster sugar
Cook apple, rhubarb, ginger preserve (or ginger and sugar) and lemon juice in a covered saucepan over a low heat until the apple is soft. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C. Line a round loose-bottomed 18cm (7″) tin with baking parchment and grease the sides.
Put the fruit into a food processor and blitz to a pulp.
Add the butter (at room temperature), caster sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder and mix to a smooth batter.
Scrape into the tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle the surface with the remaining sugar and press small bits of preserved ginger into the surface.
Bake for an hour or so until a skewer comes out clean (cover with foil after 50 minutes to stop the top burning), then cool in its tin on a rack. Take out of the tin once it is cool.
Serve as a cake, or with custard as a pudding.
RHUBARB, VANILLA AND CINNAMON TRAY BAKE
What’s this… a miracle diet cake? No, it’s not magically going to make you lose weight, but it’s a healthier alternative to calorie-heavy confections.
Replace cream with yoghurt, sugar with products like Silver Spoon’s Half Spoon. The latter was bought by accident – it’s twice as sweet, so you need half the amount, plus a little extra baking powder to make cakes rise.
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5oz (125g) Half Spoon sugar OR 10oz (250g) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10oz (300g) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (OR 1 tsp if using normal sugar)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- 8oz (200g) vanilla or apple/mango non-fat yogurt
- 12oz (300g) uncooked rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350F, 180C, gas mark 4. Line base and sides of a 9×12″ shallow rectangular tin with baking parchment (use one piece, just fold in at the corners).
Beat eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla in a mixer for five minutes. Stir in flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add yoghurt and rhubarb; stir until blended.
Pour into prepared tin and bake for one hour. Eat warm as a pudding with custard or cool as a moist, tray-bake cake.
CITRUS DRIZZLE CAKE
We’re all familiar with lemon drizzle cake, but this one blends the usual flavours with orange.
Hiding courgettes in there doesn’t affect the flavour, but it makes it ultra-moist.
For the cake:
- 200g grated courgette
- 125g butter, melted
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- juice of 1/2 orange
- 200g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- For the topping:
- juice of 1 lemon
- 40g caster sugar
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C, Gas Mark 3. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking parchment.
In a mixer or bowl, stir together the courgette, melted butter, sugar, egg and orange juice.
Sift in the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Mix well. Pour into the tin.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 20 minutes or so to cool.
For the drizzle, bring the lemon juice and 40g of caster sugar to the boil until it forms a syrup.
Stab the cake with a skewer several times and pour the syrup over the cooling cake.
Leave to cool completely so the flavours can absorb.
SNEAKY SPICY CHOCOLATE CAKE (WITH COURGETTES)
This is an excellent way to disguise courgettes, especially at the end of the season when you suddenly find yourself with tasteless marrows. It makes a dark, sophisticated chocolate cake with spicy, middle-Eastern overtones.
- 250g plain flour
- 375g caster sugar
- 65g good-quality dark cocoa powder
- 90g ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 eggs
- 350ml vegetable oil
- 340g grated courgettes
Preheat oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 20x30cm tin with baking parchment.
In a mixer or bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
Add the eggs and oil, and beat well.
Fold in the grated courgette until it is evenly mixed in.
Pour into the tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
If the top appears done yet the skewer is still sticky, cover top of the cake with greaseproof paper and give it anther 10 minutes.
Let the cake cool in the tin.
When completely cold, dust top with icing sugar.