Rhubarb and anise crumble cake

Rhubarb and anise crumble cake

By
From
The Birthday Cake Book
Serves
12
Photographer
Laura Edwards

I love this cake, a version of a classic American coffee cake. Ring the changes with peaches or gooseberries, raspberries, cherries or blueberries. I’ve used the young, pink rhubarb stalks that are harvested by candlelight in Yorkshire and available in early spring. Serve with vanilla-flavoured crème fraîche or mascarpone (mix in the seeds of a vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract).

For the cake

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
240g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
240g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
200g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
70ml creme fraiche
300g raw pink rhubarb, cut into pieces

For the crumble topping

Quantity Ingredient
3-4 teaspoons anise seeds, (optional)
100g golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
210g plain flour, sifted
160g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C. Butter a 25 cm round springform tin, and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Prepare the crumble topping. Place the anise seeds in a small pan over a moderate heat and toast very lightly, stirring a bit, to release the flavour. Grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle. Place the sugar, ground anise, salt and flour into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture is of an even crumb consistency.
  3. For the cake, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cream the butter and sugar for about five minutes until really light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly, folding in a little of the flour. Next add the vanilla, fold in the remaining flour and the crème fraîche and, finally, stir in the rhubarb. Turn into the tin, sprinkle the crumble over and bake for 55–60 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. Leave in the tin on a wire rack for five minutes then turn out, crumble side up. Remove the papers and cool completely.

Rhubarb ribbons

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
vegetable oil, (optional)
3 rhubarb stalks
6 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons apricot jam

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to very low (90°C/fan 80°C). If you have a sheet of re-usable cooking liner, place it on a baking tray (or lightly oil baking parchment, then wipe with kitchen paper, so only a very fine film of oil remains). With a very sharp knife, cut each rhubarb stalk lengthways into 2 mm-thick strips, then cut into 12–13 cm lengths.
  2. Place the sugar and 4 tablespoons water into a very clean small pan over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil for a minute or so, then cool. Dip in the rhubarb strips, shake off excess and lay them on the tray. Place in the oven for an hour, turn and cook for 30 minutes, or until they feel drier, though still slightly sticky. Remove to a wire rack. When cool and crisp, trim to shape with scissors. Store in very dry conditions, and use on the same or next day. Heat the jam gently, press through a sieve, and use it to stick the ribbons to the cake.
Tags:
Baking
Cakes
Birthday
cake
sweets
dessert
sweet
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