sticky rhubarb drizzle cake

© Nick Loven

With two stalks of rhubarb from our neighbours remaining, Nick came up with the bright idea of rhubarb drizzle cake, extracting rhubarb juice by cooking it, and using it in a similar way as lemon juice in a lemon drizzle tray bake. We love the way drizzle cake typically has a crunchy topping and tried to replicate that here, but rhubarb juice obtained by cooking rhubarb is very thick, so instead of sinking into the cake leaving only the sugar crystallising on top, it leaves a thicker, glossy glaze on the cake top, making it incredibly sticky and moist. An ice cold glass of milk cuts through the stickiness perfectly, and as there's no additional frosting, you don't have to wait for the cake to cool completely before digging in.

© Nick Loven
N&L's Sticky Rhubarb Drizzle Cake
300g (2 stalks) rhubarb
225g (9oz) butter or margarine
225g (1 cup) sugar
4 eggs*
250g (1 3/4 cup) self-raising flour
* I have it on good authority (thanks Mattijs!) that if you only have 2 eggs that will work if you add some milk (half a cup or more) to your batter too, it'll be slightly denser than here.

Chop the rhubarb into 1cm chunks and place 250g (set aside the rest for later) of it in a pan on a medium heat, covered, for approximately 10 minutes. Strain gently through a sieve - you don't need to squeeze it.
Keep both the juice (it will yield approximately 50g) and pulp for use in the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (electric/fan, 180°C gas -mark 4, 320-350°F) and oil and flour an 8 inch cake tin (or line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment).
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add the eggs one at a time while beating, adding a little of the flour between additions of egg if the mixture becomes too runny.
Fold in the flour and rhubarb pulp from the juice extraction process. The batter should have a good dropping (but not pouring) consistency, if it is too thick, add a little of the extracted rhubarb juice.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Place the chopped rhubarb on the top and bake for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the centre is firm. You should be able to hear a fizzing sound.

While the cake is in the oven, prepare the rhubarb drizzle by mixing the rhubarb juice with an equal weight of sugar (I had 56g - approximately 2oz of each). 
When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and immediately skewer and spoon the rhubarb drizzle over the top. 
Leave the cake in the tin to cool, at least slightly - if you're in a rush then 10 minutes in the fridge should do it!

© Nick Loven

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