There’s a wild sunset brewing up over the Pacific. The water is glowing turquoise, the sky is turning crazy pink, the lights of the Santa Monica Ferris wheel are starting to pulse and spin in the twilight. Life is so interesting I’d like to stick around forever, just to see what happens, how it all turns out.
– from White Sands, Geoff Dyer
It’s been an age since I’ve posted. There are numerous reasons, none of which are particularly original – work, kids, life. But last Wednesday, T requested that we bake something together. He sat up on the kitchen bench and helped me stir and sift (and lick the bowl), small hands sticky with such pride and joy that I found myself wanting to preserve the moment.
Besides which, autumn in Melbourne is worth capturing. Every afternoon when the kids and I walk home down our wide tree-lined street the sun is low in the sky, picture-perfect golden rays through the now-bare branches. The kids walk up ahead, knee-deep in crunchy leaves and the sunshine is still skin-warm despite the scent of winter on the air.
This Rhubarb Pound Cake is the perfect accompaniment to an autumn afternoon. For just a moment, forget about all the shit that needs doing, and get lost in the tart/sweet butteriness of this cake. Add a cup of earl grey and just a whisper of whipped yoghurt; it’s the small things…
Rhubarb Pound Cake
350 grams rhubarb
25 grams sugar (any type)
2 tsps vanilla paste (or extract)
200 grams butter, softened
175 grams brown caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
175 grams plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 180c.
Trim the ends off the rhubarb and cut into pieces approx. the length of your pinky finger. Toss the sliced rhubarb in a bowl together with the sugar and vanilla paste. Line a baking tray with baking paper, then spread the rhubarb out in a single layer. Bake for approx. 25 minutes, or until the rhubarb is softened but still holds its shape. Set aside to cool.
Butter and flour a cake tin (round or rectangular is fine, but choose one on the smaller side). In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer (or a fork and good old fashioned muscle), beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one, then the vanilla. Remove from the mixer and add the flour mixture, folding through until just combined. Finally, fold through three-quarters of the baked rhubarb.
Transfer to the prepared cake tin, using a spatula to smooth down the top. Bake in the preheated oven for apron. 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean (you can check it at 40 minutes).
Leave to cool in the tin for up to 30 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with the remaining roasted rhubarb, and freshly whipped cream or yoghurt.