To my dear friends and readers; some from home, some (bizarrely) from Angola, the time has arrived to celebrate. Put your Kate and Wills bunting back up and pop open something chilled and fizzy (Appletise will do) because...
THE LARDER IS ONE! Hooray!!!
|I think the cake was too small for 'birthday'.|
And a huge thank you is in order. Firstly and most importantly to you, for taking the time out of your hectic lives to read my rambles through culinary adventures. Someone asked me recently if I would still write a blog (still hate that word) if nobody read it. An interesting question and one that will plague bloggers (eek, worse!) for years to come. My answer? Yes of course, but in no way would I get as much pleasure out of it as I do. With the risk of getting slightly American on you all, through your feedback and friendship I laugh, learn and discover more and more about this wonderful world of all things edible. Your comments are valuable, often hilarious and... oh God I'm welling up here...
I also want to say a huge merci to my friends and family for helping and listening as always. Particularly to Bo, who not only lets me insult his eating habits on the Internet but proof reads them too.
And lastly, fellow food writers (I can't bring myself to use that word again). Some of which I have met, most of which I've read and some of which I have hilarious Apprentice banter with on Twitter. There is amazing people doing some amazing things out there, it's lovely to be part of it all.
So finally, to show my appreciation I baked you a cake.
Rhubarb and Custard Fairycakes
These cakes taste completely of rhubarb and custard. I'm not being blonde but I just want to warn people that might not be too fond of that combination that this is not a hint of rhubarb and custard. Its like a rhubarb and custard bomb going off in your mouth. On the other hand, if like me, you LOVE rhubarb and custard then these are going to make you very very happy. I ate five. In one afternoon.
300g rhubarb, cut into 1cm slices. Plus 1 whole stick for decorating.
125g caster sugar, plus 4 tbsp extra
zest and juice of 1 orange
100ml plain yogurt
100g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g ground almonds
For the icing:
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp mascarpone
175g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4. Line a cupcake tray with 12 cases.
In a small saucepan add the chopped rhubarb and the whole stick (chop in half if necessary). Add the 4 tablespoons of caster sugar and the juice and zest of the orange. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 2 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft but not breaking up. Leave to cool on the side.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs and yogurt together. In a larger bowl sieve in the flour, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the ground almonds and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and add the yogurt mixture and fold together. Lift the whole stick of rhubarb out of the pan and put to the side. Strain the rest of the rhubarb away from the juices in the pan - the juices can be used for beautiful summer cocktails or just added to yogurt at breakfast. Fold in the cooled rhubarb into the cake mixture, making sure that the pieces are kept as whole as possible.
Split the mixture between the 12 cases and bake for 19 - 23 minutes on the middle shelf. Cool on a rack once ready.
Meanwhile make the icing. Mix together the cornflour and a splash of milk to make a paste. Pour the rest of the milk into a small saucepan and whisk in the paste. Put the saucepan on a low heat and continually whisk until the milk has thickened to the consistency of custard. Leave to cool.
In a large bowl cream together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract, mascarpone and a pinch of salt. Cream until pale white and whisk in the milk mixture. Ice the fairycakes generously. Cut the whole pieces of rhubarb into thin, jewel-like circles and sprinkle over the top of the cakes.
This recipe has been brought to you by a Jamie Oliver supplement, although the recipe was wrong (gasp) and I had to fix it, and my Grampa's rhubarb.