This lamb is delicately marinated with herbs and spices and served with a truly indulgent side dish of sweet potato dauphinoise, kale and red cabbage...
For the rhubarb topping and crumble: 100g approx. rhubarb
75g approx. sugar, to taste, crushed
100g plain flour
75g tsp sugar
100g roughly crushed hazelnuts
For the sponge base: 200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
½ tsp vanilla essence
There’s still a nip in the air, so this plain and worthy cake is wearing a nutty crumble cardigan. It’s an ideal reward when you come in from gardening/ walking/shopping, for me anyway - I know rhubarb can stir emotional reactions (or straightforward hatred), but perhaps it’s time to try it just one more time? If you can’t face it even as a thin layer in this cake, substitute raspberries or plums.
Pre-heat the oven to gas 4/180°C and line a 30cm square tin.
Roughly chop the rhubarb and put in a pan with the sugar – there’s no need to add water as the stalks contain plenty. Simmer gently until the rhubarb mashes down and turns pulpy. Set aside to cool.
If you can multi-task without burning the rhubarb, make the crumble topping at the same time as this (or do it while the rhubarb cools). Make as you would for a crumble – rub the butter into the flour until the mix is the consistency of breadcrumbs, then add the sugar and roughly crushed hazelnuts.
Now make the sponge base. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then carefully and gradually add the eggs while beating to avoid curdling.
Mix in the flour, vanilla essence (and a little milk if the mixture is too stiff), and pour into the lined tin.
Spread a thin layer of cooked rhubarb over the cake mixture and top with the hazelnut crumble.