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Posts Tagged ‘gooseberries’

Last week I had to bake for Cake & Chat and wanted something a little different. I also had a packet of rhubarb that I’d picked up on the reduced section at our local Morrison’s. And so here is a recipe for rhubarb pudding cake (I found the original online at a National Trust historic cakes site).

It went wonderfully with creme fraiche on Thursday and with cream on Sunday. I had to bake a second one this weekend as the first one had disappeared before lunch on Thursday. The leftovers are in the fridge tempting me now.

The recipe involves three separate sections – a cake batter, chopped and sugared rhubarb and a crumble topping. Althought it’s slightly faffier than a bog standard sponge, it’s worth the extra trouble for a delicious dessert cake. The one in the pictures has some gooseberries in it aswell as I didn’t have quite enough rhubarb second time round – they worked very well.

Ingredients

  • 1lb rhubarb (or gooseberries, or mix of both), chopped into 1″ pieces and sprinkled with 1-2tbspns brown sugar

Crumble topping

  • 2oz butter
  • 3oz plain flour
  • 1oz caster sugar

Cake batter

  • 3oz soft marg or butter
  • 3oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3oz self raising flour
  • 1 tbspn milk

Firstly, prepare the rhubarb, chopping it into chunks, or top and tail your gooseberries. Place it in a bowl and sprinkle the brown sugar over the fruit and set aside. Then make the crumble topping, chopping the butter into the flour and rubbing it into small crumbs with your fingers. Then stir in the sugar and set aside. Finally, in another bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, beat in the eggs and fold in the flour. I do this using an electric hand mixer – there’s not enough mix for my freestanding mixer. Add enough milk to give a dropping consistency – if you’re using large eggs you might not even need the milk.

You’ll need an 8″ cake tin, lined with baking paper (or a reusable liner). Then you layer the cake up – first the batter, then the fruit (with another sprinkling of brown sugar) and finally the crumble topping mix. Bake at 190ºC (Gas 5, Fan 180ºC) for 40-45 minutes until the cake feels firm on top.

This cake is delicious hot or cold and best served with some sort of cream. It would be good with custard too.

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I’d been getting all excited about our gooseberry bush. It is bursting with green berries. I had visions of gooseberry fool and pickles and pies and all sorts of yumminesses. And then this afternoon I saw it. MOULD. On the end of nearly every fruit-heavy branch.

What a sad waste - I hacked off about 100 berries

It seems that we have American Gooseberry Mildew. Just like the Yanks, coming over here and ruining our traditional summer desserts. So I went and hacked the plant back, following advice on websites, although it looks like I might be a bit late – you’re meant to do that in the winter. I don’t know if this will stop the spread this year, but I’m going to watch it like a hawk now. Mostly the advice said to plant resistant bushes. Not much good if it’s already there.

Anyone else inherited a gooseberry plant that was mouldy? Will I get any fruit this year?

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