In our climate rhubarb the first local food available, a reassuring sign that we have made it through another winter.
I grew up loving rhubarb and always wanted a farmyard patch of my own, one of those huge plants the size of a shed that you see in the backyards of old homes. I want a plant that can supply us with enough for a year’s worth of pies, compote and rhubarb juice.
My rhubarb is the runt of my gardens and I have never been able to pull so much as one measly stock. Then in February a huge spruce tree came crashing down in our back yard and the big bushy bows stretched themselves across the rhubarb patch (such as it is).
Through the spring I have busied myself getting the other gardens in shape so it wasn’t until last week that I pulled the bows aside to open up the rhubarb.
A happy discovery – my rhubarb is flourishing.
First time ever.
There was just enough for this rustic rhubarb gingerbread.
The rhubarb is roasted with sugar before being added to the cake batter which ensures that it’s soft and sweet when the cake comes out of the oven (an idea I got from a Donna Hay cookbook).
Interesting tidbit: apparently rhubarb is a vegetable.
Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe
- 2/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp. ginger (ground) or 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 5-6 stalks of rhubarb
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
- Place rhubarb on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for 15-20 minutes (until softening).
- Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 F
- Grease and flour a 9” square or round cake pan, or line it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, milk, molasses, eggs and vanilla.
- Add the wet to the dry and combine gently but thoroughly.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Gently arrange roasted rhubarb on top of the cake in parallel lines, cutting to fit.
- Place them close but not touching.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
- Serve on its own or with a little sweetened whipped cream on the side.
Roasting your rhubarb:
Sprinkle the stalks with sugar then roast at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until softening.
One more thing…
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