Found my first forced rhubarb of the season . The term forced sounds a bit barbaric , but I promise its pretty humane simply rhubarb traditionally grown in in low darkened forocing sheds and picked by candlelight to protect younger stems.
Athough it is pretty expensive the rhubabr is succulent and delicately pink more tender than the outdoor variety it requires little cooking . Buying this traditional product also means supporting British growers of from the Rhubarb Triangle in Yorkshire where , the right kind of soil and cheap coal brilliantly combine to provide perfect growing conditions. You can try growing it at home with these attractive rhubarb forcers.
Rhubarb and Ginger love eachother something about the combination of heat and sour and though I have made rhubarb and ginger upside down cake before this this time I decided to adapt a foolproof and delicious gingerbread recipe .
This gingerbread recipe and moist and sticky gingerbread everytime but the addition of the rhubarb gives little sour bites
( slightly amended from original Sophie Grigson recipe http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/595329)
Makes 9 massive pieces
280g plain flour
200g of forced rhubarb chopped into 1cm pieces
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp Salt
170g unsalted butter, softened
190g light muscovado sugar
100g golden syrup
4 knobs preserved stem ginger, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
- Line the base of a 20cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper
- Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
- Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the golden syrup, then the egg
- Beat in the flour then the milk to form a smooth batter. Stir in the stem ginger
- Pour half the mixture into the tin , scatter over the raw rhubarb, and pour over the rest of the batter
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes until firm to the touch.
- Let the gingerbread cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.