Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Rhubarb, honey and lemon cake

Everyday cake is not so much cake to be eaten seven days a week, but one that can be made in a pinch with pantry staples. If you have unexpected visitors or a sweet itch that needs to be scratched. Or feel like making a cake, but not going to the shops. This is that cake.

Butter, honey, flour, milk, and eggs are things most of us have on hand at any time. Most fruit bowls will contain a lemon. Rhubarb, I'll concede, isn't a regular in anyone's shopping basket but any fruit will do, though the more tart types - like raspberries - will balance out the sweetness of the honey... as does a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

The honey (in place of sugar) gives the finished cake a beautiful burnished gold exterior, and the rhubarb a pretty pop of pink. Every day should be this good.

Rhubarb, honey and lemon cake
Adapted from a recipe by Bill Granger

I am incapable of juicing a lemon without zesting it first. If I don't need the zest immediately, I sweep it into a ziplock bag of lemon zest I keep in the freezer (and freeze any leftover juice in ice cube trays). That way I always have a lemon on hand.

125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
2 eggs
1 cup white spelt flour (you also could just use plain)
2 tbsp plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g honey
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp milk
150g rhubarb, cut into chunks (or other fruit - raspberries work well, figs would be pretty)
3 tbsp demerara sugar (or whatever you have on hand)
Greek yoghurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm loose-based cake tin. 

In a large bowl, beat the butter with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Add the flours, baking powder, salt, honey and lemon zest and juice. Fold in the milk. Tip the cake batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Toss the rhubarb in 1 tbsp sugar and use to top the batter. Dust with the remaining 2 tbsp sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

Allow to cool on a wire rack before removing from the tin. 

Serve with Greek yoghurt.

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