From The Garden - Rhubarb

Sunday, 10 February 2013

One of the things growing at this time of year at the Market Garden is forced rhubarb.
We grow it in complete darkness, cutting it by candlelight which prevents any strong light affecting the growth of the stalks.
Stalks are the palest pink, with yellowing tops, and the texture is much more delicate than outdoor rhubarb.

West Yorkshire is famous for it's forced rhubarb and even holds Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Commission's Protected Food Name scheme. So like Champagne and Stilton, you can't use the name unless it's from the region. Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb is celebrated once a year with a big food festival in Wakefield held at the end of February.

Usually I make a rhubarb and pear crumble with ginger topping, but I wanted to try something different with it, so I opted for a cake. I stumbled across a recipe online for Rhubarb and Vanilla Yoghurt Cake. It was flavoured with vanilla essence (made by soaking vanilla pods in rum) and orange flower water. It sounded delicious. But rather than make my own vanilla essence, I opted for just using shop bought vanilla extract. It's such a quick and easy cake to make, and is perfect served with cream for a dessert.

So here is the recipe (slightly adapted from here):


300g rhubarb, thinly sliced
310g self-raising flour
230g caster sugar
zest of one orange
pinch of salt
2 eggs
125g plain yoghurt
1 tbsp orange flower water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter, melted


Grease a 9" cake tin and preheat the oven to 180C.
Mix the rhubarb, flour, caster sugar, orange zest and salt together in a bowl.
In another bowl, mix the eggs, yoghurt, vanilla extract, orange flower water and butter together.
Mix both mixtures together until there are no dry patches left, but do not over-mix.
Pour it into the cake tin and then bake for about 50 minutes.
It should be golden brown on the top when it's ready.
Let it cool in the tin for about 15 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack.

Then go eat! x


  1. Yum. This came at the right time, Jen - I found some rhubarb in the freezer from my father-in-law's allotment and was trying to think what to do with it. I love the forced rhubarb so readily available round here. Rhubarb and ginger crumble is our favourite but never tried adding pear, that sounds good.

    Gillian x

  2. Oh my, I wish I could pick that piece of cake up off the screen and pop it in my mouth! Looks scrumptious!! Will definitely pick some rhubarb up when I'm next at my local market. Thanks for the inspiration! :-) x

  3. Wow! I absolutely love rhubarb so my mouth's seriously watering!

  4. I'm always slightly wary of rhubarb (after too many too-tart crumble experiences as a child I think!) but umm-ed and ahh-ed over some in the veg shop this week as it was such a beautiful colour. Your cake recipe sounds lovely so perhaps I'll give it a go and overcome my rhubarb fear!x

  5. Mmmm, this looks yummy! I am always on the lookout for new rhubarb recipes, will def give it a try.

  6. Perfect timing Jen (well my kind of need to get more organised timing...thinking about what to do with my fruit and veg before the season changes) The first fronds of rhubarb are unfurling this week in the allotment. Can't wait to try this cake. x

  7. Your cake looks delicious Jen ... I adore rhubarb ... my granny stewed it in sugar and we ate it on her soda bread ... it was amazing ... thanks for sharing ... Bee xx

  8. I quite simply love Rhubarb - I need to make this at the weekend!

  9. Love rhubarb so much, the taste, the look and the name! We need to grow some here!

  10. Ooh I love rhubarb and this recipe looks scrummy! Can't wait to grow more rhubarb in the garden this year...x


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