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  • Winchester Eats

Summer Rhubarb Cake

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Like so many other people, I have spent a lot of time in my garden these past few months. I don't claim to be any kind of green-fingered gardening wonder, but it has been therapeutic to plant and grow stuff, and our edible crops are beginning to come into their own.

We have planted a LOT - my youngest even raised £100 for his pre-school thanks to generous neighbours who snapped up every pumpkin, gherkin and cucumber plant at a last-minute plant sale he threw after planting too many seeds (I had to laugh when a few weeks later I watched Gardener's World and Monty explained that gherkin plants can reach over 7ft tall, not sure anyone was expecting that!).

It hasn't all been a success thanks to black-fly and various failed experiments with bulbs from garlic we grew last year. Not watching a small helper when planting out onion bulbs proved a disastrous too as they were all planted upside down!

Thankfully, disasters in some areas have been cancelled out by success in others - a thousand aubergine plants (slight exaggeration) that look promising, towering sweetcorn plants that are laden with cobs (that I am not quite sure what to do with), and we currently have runner beans with nearly every meal...

A little plant/greengrocers stall on Winchester Market has been brilliant for unusual plants too like lemongrass, asparagus and bottle gourds (who knows what we are going to do with those!)...

And finally, having planted it when we first moved in two years ago, our Rhubarb plant is big enough to harvest a stick or three from...

This recipe was definitely a favourite in Munich Summer months when Rhubarb was in season, and it's one I still make now (I even made it a few months back for Winchester Cakes and Bakes at Toscannacio - before lockdown obviously!)... Adapted from Dorling Kindersley's Grandmother's German Cookbook written by Birgit Hamm and Linn Schmidt, it's. full of great German specialty recipes - not just sausages and sauerkraut - and definitely not just for Grandmothers...


Cake-Ingredients: 2 large sticks of rhubarb, washed and cut into 1.5cm slices; 250g softened unsalted butter; 100g caster sugar; 1tsb vanilla extract; 1 pinch of salt; 1 large egg; 250g self-raising flour

Meringue Ingredients: 3 cold egg whites; 1 pinch of salt; 100g icing sugar;

Preheat oven to 190C and butter a 10" spring-form cake pan.      Cream the butter and sugar together, add the vanilla extract, the salt, and the egg, and mix through... Sift together the flour and baking powder (if using) and add to the bowl.   If it looks like it needs it, add a few drops of milk - note however that this is not a sponge recipe so it looks quite heavy, but I think you will be amazed at how light it is...    Press the mixture into the pan and arrange the rhubarb on the top pressing in gently.    

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the middle of the oven.     When cooked, remove and leave to cool slightly on one side - leave the oven on...        

In a clean bowl (I tend to wipe the bowl with a drop of lemon juice beforehand to ensure non-meringue failure!) beat the egg whites and the salt to stiff peaks, then gradually add the icing sugar.    Tip meringue onto the cake and place back into the oven for 6-8 minutes, keeping an eye on it!    

Leave to cool, slice and share - or not!



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