Regular readers will be well aware that Cindy is the baker and sweet-tooth in this food-blog duo. It's rare for me to take on a cake, but I decided to give it a shot for Cindy's birthday. I grabbed her a copy of Ottolenghi's new dessert book as part of her present and we picked out this recipe for me to attempt.
It's a little involved, but not beyond my fairly limited skill level. Things took a terrifying turn when I dropped the cake as I was putting it back in the oven for its final 10 minutes under foil, but I managed to patch things up enough to present to Cindy without too much shame. Even better, it tasted terrific - a fairly plain cake with a gorgeous layer of sweet fruit topped with sugary crumble. You've gotta put aside a good chunk of time for this one - 70 minutes baking plus a good half hour of prep (more if you're me), but it's definitely worth it. We're excited to try more goodies from this new book - this really set a high benchmark.
Rhubarb & strawberry crumble cake
(from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh)
120g unsalted butter, melted
150g brown sugar
190g plain flour
30g dessicated coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks of rhubarb, cut into 1cm slices
250g strawberries, hulled and sliced into 0.5cm pieces
25g brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/3 teaspoon salt
185g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
160g unsalted butter, cubed
220g icing sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease and line a 23cm springform tin. Combine all the crumble ingredients in a large bowl and stir everything together well. You want quite a chunky texture. Put the crumble aside.
Combine all the ingredients for the fruit in another bowl, mix well and set aside.
For the cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
Place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes until it's light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
Add the vanilla paste and the sifted dry ingredients and beat some more to combine everything.
Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth out the surface with the back of a spoon. Add the fruit mixture on top and then sprinkle evenly with the crumble mixture (I had heaps of crumble leftover, which came in handy when I needed to patch up my mistakes later).
Pop the cake in the oven and bake. Check after 50 minutes and if the crumble is getting too dark cover the whole thing with foil. Pop it back in the oven (without dropping it!) and bake for a further 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool before removing it from the tin and serving. We had it straight up, but it'd go well with yoghurt or cream.