Rhubarb and Yoghurt Cake

 This is the second easy rhubarb recipe I made with my sil's rhubarb. It's just a variation on the yoghurt cake all French families seem to make. You use the yoghurt pot as a measure. 

1 small pot natural yoghurt - use this pot to measure 3 pots of caster sugar, 3 pots of sr flour, 3/4 pot of sunflower oil, 1/4 pot milk
2 eggs
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn vanilla extract
pinch salt
250g rhubarb cut into chunks

Preheat oven 200C/gas6
Grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin.

Beat all the ingredients together except the rhubarb, then stir the chunks in.

Spoon into the tin and bake for 30 mins till golden.

A good moist cake, not too sweet. Love the texture of the rhubarb. A simple cake to have with a cuppa, or as a dessert with some crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Am away for a week, so next week's post will be later than usual.


Rhubarb Meringue Tart

My sil came for the day and brought a bundle of rhubarb. It's one of our favourite things to eat, so I decided to make a couple of easy recipes with it.

The first was a simple rhubarb tart with a meringue topping, a change from a pie or a crumble. I used a pack of bought shortcrust pastry, which made it even quicker to make, but of course you can make your own.

1 pack shortcrust pastry
600g rhubarb
2 tbspn granulated sugar

3 egg whites
175g caster sugar
pinch salt
1 tspn lemon juice

Preheat oven 180C/gas4

Roll out the pastry to fit a 23cm tart tin. Prick the pastry with a fork.
Trim the rhubarb and cut into 3cm chunks, then spread it over the pastry. Sprinkle the tbpsns
of sugar over.

Bake for about 25mins.

While it's cooking, whip the egg whites with the salt into stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar and the lemon juice and carry on beating.

Take the tart out of the oven and top with the meringue, then put it back in the oven for about 20
mins - my daughter calls this colour of the meringue 'Jersey cow'.

I like the contrast of textures - the crunchy pastry, the soft rhubarb which still has some bite, and the mallowy meringue. Maybe a pinch of cinnamon in the rhubarb which have been good, or even a pinch in the meringue. I must get over my cinnamon habit!
 In case you're wondering, my daughter sprinkled some brown sugar over her piece of tart!


Sweet Potato Cake with Cinnamon Icing.

We've been eating sweet potatoes for some time, but have never tried them in a cake. I wanted to make something different last week to take to OH's family get together, so decided to make a sweet potato cake. There are lots of recipes and ideas on the net, but many, as is usual with American cakes, had so much sugar. 
I played around with a few recipes, tweaking this and that, and tried this one out first as muffins. It we didn't like them, the birds could have an early Easter present! They certainly tasted different, but pleasantly different, so decided to make the cake. 
Lots of the recipes I looked at had a marshmallow frosting or some other sickly stuff. This one is one I've used many times since being given it by an American neighbour - it's not too sweet, and I love cinnamon!

The first thing you need to do is to roast 2-3 medium sweet potatoes in oven 190C/gas5 for 45 mins or so till soft. Cool. You could cook them a couple of days before and keep them in the fridge.

For the cake: preheat oven 180C/gas 4. Grease and bottom line a 20cm round cake tin.

Peel the sweet potatoes and mash them well till smooth. You need about 375g of the potato for the cake.

Sift 250g plain flour into a bowl with 13/4 tspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn bicarb., 1 tspn cinnamon,  1tspn ginger and 1/2 tspn cloves. In another bowl or in a mixer beat together 115g butter and 190g soft brown sugar till nice and fluffy. Add 1 tspn vanilla extract and 2 large eggs and beat till well mixed. Stir in the sweet potato then fold the flour mixture in gently.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 mins. Cool in tin for 5 mins then tun out onto a wire rack.

For the icing:

115g sieved icing sugar
2 tbspn single cream
1/2 tspn cinnamon

Mix the icing sugar, cream and cinnamon in a bowl until smooth, then drizzle over the cooled cake.

I was expecting the cake to be orange, the same colour as the potatoes, but it wasn't.

It's a moist cake with a soft texture, but doesn't really taste of sweet potatoes. It has a good spicy flavour and the icing is just enough to be a good contrast. It is sweet, but not too sweet. The family enjoyed it, and I was asked for the recipe!

Gratin de choux-fleur

 I was given a medium sized cauliflower and as it's not my favourite vegetable, struggled to know what to do with it. Have kept a few Fr...