A cake of rhubarb

Rhubarb, you might have noticed, is one of my favourite fruits. Well, it’s not really a fruit, but a stalk, but that’s for botanists. If you eat it like a fruit, then to me it’s a fruit, which makes a tomato a vegetable, although it’s a fruit, and who cares anyway?

Whatever it is, I have always loved rhubarb. Perhaps because it’s always been so versatile, so cheap, so plentiful, and it grows so prolifically outside most back doors. Most back doors, that is, except mine. I have tried growing rhubarb in just about every location under the sun, and some not under the sun, to no avail. I have starved it, drowned it, fertilised it, choked it. All it does is form a small stem, and then fades away. One day it will work, along with my lemon tree, and cumquat tree, and lime tree. One day. At least it’s cheap while I’m waiting.

5 eggs

200g caster sugar

200g almond meal

25g peeled almonds, roughly chopped

2 cups rhubarb puree: the puree of well-cooked rhubarb and a little


2 teaspoons baking powder


Whisk the eggs with the caster sugar until fluffy and thick. This is best done in a set-and-for-get mixer.


Mix the baking powder with the almond meal and fold through, gently, with the chopped almonds.


Fold in rhubarb puree. You will have a very light, very airy mixture, almost filling the bowl of a Kenwood mixer.


Pour the mix into a well-greased pan, the bottom covered with grease-proof paper.


Bake in a 200°C oven for about 35 minutes, until the top is browned and gives to the knife. If you allow it to cook longer, it will get firmer and drier. If you prefer it that way, watch it for burning.


Allow to rest for a time, then unmould.


Allow to cool and serve dredged with icing sugar. It is also lovely served warm.

WINE: How about a cup of your finest tea in a pot with the full ceremony? Otherwise, try a tawny port Seppelt O.P. 90, Mildara Cavendish, Hardy s Show are some of my favourites.