This is the cake that features on the front page of the current issue of Delicious Magazine. It looked delicious and, having some rhubarb in stock, I couldn’t wait to make it.
It’s official title is “rhubarb and amaretti cake with orange and rosemary syrup”. Whilst I had plenty of rhubarb I had no amaretti biscuits and couldn’t find any very easily in the shops. I dare say I might have been successful if I had been determined but, here in rural France, all shops are a long way from where we live (apart from the little village store) and they mostly close for lunch, making it difficult to get to more than two of them in a day. Life is too short for that so I used an alternative that I did have in the cupboard – some boudoir or Savoyard biscuits.
There wasn’t enough rhubarb in it to make it the dominant flavour and although I used a large sprig of rosemary I couldn’t detect any flavour of that at all. The flavour was strongly of almonds and orange.
Having said that, this was a fabulous cake. I would make it again without the rosemary in the glaze and might try to squeeze a few more bits of rhubarb on the top. It was easy to make, came out looking just like the picture (always a relief) and went down really well with a spoonful of cream as a dessert.
There is also a story behind the cake stand. You can read all about it here.
For the cake
225g unsalted butter, softened ( I used Flora Buttery. Lurpak spreadable would work well)
200g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large or two medium oranges
200g ground almonds
50g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
8 amaretti biscuits, broken into chunks ( I used 4 boudoir/Savoyard biscuits and ½tsp almond extract)
1-2 thin sticks rhubarb
For the glaze
Juice of the orange
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tblsp granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°fan / gas mk 4. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin, or loose bottomed fluted tart tin (the cake is quite shallow).
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract (and almond extract if using) and the eggs, one at a time, beating well until incorporated. Ignore any curdling as the mixture will come back together as it bakes.
Fold in the flour, ground almonds, amoretti chunks and orange zest.
Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top.
Wipe the rhubarb and slice each stick into half lengthways. Cut into 12 or so pieces, roughly 6 cm long, and arrange over the surface of the cake. Push lightly into the mixture leaving them 2/3 uncovered.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until done. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the syrup by putting all the ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes to reduce slightly. Taste and add a little lemon juice if you prefer it to be slightly sharper. Pour over the cooled cake.
To serve, dust the cake with icing sugar or sprinkle with granulated sugar. Serve warm or cold with cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche.
Cuts into 12 slices.