Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Blueberry and Soured Cream Loaf

Time to bake another loaf. These are becoming another of my top bakes, aside from my beloved cupcakes of course. They are just so easy to make and always turn out wonderfully moist and full of flavour. The decision to make this particular loaf was down the the short recipe. It only has 4 stages and everything is standard loaf ingredients except the blueberries and soured cream substitute for the plain yoghurt. I wanted a quick recipe on Sunday as in the morning I was participating in Race for Life at the Epsom Downs Racecourse. Its a 5km (3 mile) walk which I do every year. Last year I was 6 months pregnant at the time and so it seemed fitting this year that my 9 month old daughter should take part as well. She was in a baby carrier strapped to my chest for the entire walk and we completed it, in the baking 30 degree sun, in one hour and 13 minutes. A better time than I did last year and I was carrying a lot more weight this time.

Being exhausted after the race and a little sunburnt I was lacking in motivation to actually bake anything but pushed myself to get it down when the baby went down for her nap. Whacked the oven on to preheat at the usual 170C, assembled all my ingredients and equipment and started by greasing the laof tin with butter and then dusting with flour.

Then the butter and sugar are creamed together, add the eggs one at a time then the rest of the dry ingredients in two batches. My hand slipped as I was pouring the first batch into the mixture and so ended up with about 80/20 rather than 50/50 but it didn't matter, all going into the same bowl in the end.

Once the usual suspects are mixed together you add the soured cream and whole blueberries. I used fresh blueberries as I know if I bought frozen I would 1) forget to defrost them beforehand and 2) the rest of them wouldn't get eaten and the bag would sit at the back of the freezer for decades. Fresh is always better any way. These are folded in by hand and then poured into the prepared loaf tin. I managed to get the blueberries evenly distributed in the batter and was hoping they wouldn't all settle to the bottom, even though the cook book states this is perfectly normal.

It took a little longer to cook as expected. My oven used to be bang on time for all the recipes but it seems as of late it takes slightly longer for the loaves and cheesecakes. The cupcakes still seem to cook within the normal time though. Dunno why that is but it doesn't seem to affect the end result. Just need to make sure I rotate them half way through as it seems to cook a little unevenly on the right too.

The loaf was intended to come to a family bbq with us that evening. Wanted to impress the long time family friends I would be meeting for the first time since getting together with my husband. The loaf was still too warm to take with us so I settled on taking the remaining Lemon Meringue cupcakes instead. Meant we had the loaf all to ourselves once we got home and I delved in straight away. The Blueberries had indeed mostly sunk to the bottom, so the top half of the loaf was just sponge and the bottom had all the fruit in it. You couldn't taste the soured cream but it did have a different taste than when using the plain yoghurt as all the other loaves do. I am not usually one to eat blueberries but in this they were delicious. My husband had a slice after me and agreed it was yummy. So much so that when I came down the next morning after having gone to bed before him, only half of the loaf remained!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

This is the first of what I call the 'complicated' cupcake recipes. These are the cupcakes that require a filling and a frosting so a little more work involved that normal.

If it was down to me, the lemon meringue wouldn't have been the first one's I would have picked. I'm a chocoholic and would have most likely gone for the Chocolate Fondant or the Boston Cream cupcakes but I let my husband chose which ones to make for this weekend and now here we are.

I made the sponges during a spare 15 minutes. They were the quickest part of the recipe, only variation was the grated lemon zest that is added along with the other dry ingredients. Popped these in the oven for around 19 minutes I think, this is a guess as I started to clean up the kitchen after they went into the oven and realised I had forgotten to set the timer or check the clock. I checked them with a skewer and they came out perfectly so my guessing must have been right.

I left the cupcakes to cool in the tin just enough to be able to handle them and then popped them on the wire rack. The sponges cooled in total for 2 hours and then I nervously made the first incision to start filling them. I was very apprehensive about the filling and meringue stage. Worried I would cut too deep or wide a whole or that all the cut outs would nee trimming down and it would be a fiddly job. Turned out it wasn't as nerve racking as I was fretting and the cut outs didn't need trimming at all, they all slotted back into the cupcakes wonderfully on top of the lemon curd filling.

Once all of this was done I set them back onto the rack and separated the 4 egg whites into a bowl needed for the meringue topping. These were whipped briefly until just foamy and put aside whilst the sugar and water mixture boiled away. I did use the soft-ball tip and had a bowl of cold water standing by for the test. Tried it after 5 minutes as suggested but the sugar just sort of dropped to the bottom and merged with the water. I put the timer on for another 5 minutes and tried again every so often. Got to about 15 minutes of boiling and the syrup was starting to obviously thicken in the saucepan but still not quite forming a ball when dropped into the water. It was taking shape and could be picked out of the bowl though so decided that was good enough and added the hot sugar to the foamy eggs. This mixture is whisked into oblivion until it has cooled to a luke warm touch underneath the bowl and is four times the size as before, with a glossy white look.

Onto spooning it onto the top of the filled sponges. I think it worked out to about a tablespoon and a half of frosting for each cupcake. It started to thicken as it was going on and once all were done I tentatively popped them under the warmed grill for a few seconds to brown. My grill it seems does not cook evenly and so some came out more so than others but I didn't want to risk burning them so left them as they were.

My husband dove straight in and chomped one down almost as soon as my photos were taken. I went straight after as after all that hard work I deserved not to have to wait to try one out. First is the meringue frosting. Not as hard or as sugary was I was expecting. It seems to be semi solid but when you bite into it, it is actually surprisingly frothy and light. The sponge was delicious as always, with a hint of lemon flavour but not too strong that it was sickly when you finally found the lemon curd filling hidden in the middle. Together the flavours originally from a pie work well in cupcake form and it wasn't too rich to produce a sugar coma afterwards either, which is always a bonus.


Coffee and Chocolate Loaf - 16/06/2011

Mocha Cupcakes - 18/06/2011

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mocha Cupcakes

Having made one of the three coffee flavoured recipes already this weekend, I though I might as well hit two birds with one stone and get another out of the way. I decided to make the Mocha cupcakes as a treat for my husband, My Dad and father-in-law for Father's Day, as they are all coffee and cake lovers.

This recipe sticks to the traditional ingredients that make an actual mocha, so instead of cocoa it is hot chocolate powder and instead of brewed coffee it is instant espresso powder. These get mixed with the hot mixed and then cooled, before getting added to the other ingredients.

I made a mistake right at the beginning of this recipe and thought it said to buy ground espresso not instant, so when it was added to the milk with the hot chocolate it didn't actually dissolve. You could still smell the coffee flavour and the grounds were so fine that, after consulting my sister-in-law, we decided it would still work and left it as it was. It does mean I have an almost full bag of espresso powder for a coffee machine and no use for it, plus I need to go and buy the correct instant stuff for the last remaining coffee recipe in the cook book, the Espresso Cupcakes.

After realising my mistake and agreeing that it should still be fine, I made up the sponge using the standard cupcake ingredients and method we all know and love by now. The mocha milk mixture gets the eggs whisked into it and then is added to the dry ingredients until all smooth. This is spooned into the muffin cases. I made 16 cupcakes from this recipe, which seems to be the standard amount for me now, using about a tablespoon and a half of batter for each case. Cook for about 22 minutes, seems my oven isn't bang on the scheduled time with these recipes any more and out onto the oven top to cool.

The cupcakes were left to chill out for a few hours whilst I went about my daily routine with my baby daughter and only got time to make the frosting once she was down for an afternoon nap. The frosting is made the same as the hot chocolate cupcakes one, with hot choc powder, sugar, milk and butter. I don't think I whisked it was much as I usually do, with being in a rush to finish before the little one woke, and it seemed to come out slightly..not sure on the right word..I guess sticky. When trying to ice the sponge, I spoon an equal amount onto each cupcake until it is all used from the bowl and then go round them all and over the tops properly. The icing went onto the cupcakes okay but when it came to spreading it it just lifted off the sponge and stuck to the palette knife. Took me a little more time than usual to get them all looking nice and smooth, then I dusted with a little bit of the hot chocolate powder and decorated each cupcake with two Galaxy counters. I hunted around the supermarkets but couldn't find any heart-shaped chocolate and our local Thorntons store had just closed down so the Galaxy counters seemed the next best thing. Didn't want to leave the tops plain, since they were for a special occasion.

My Dad was thrilled that I had made cakes for Father's Day and thought they were his only present lol. He doesn't usually have cakes until after tea/dinner but asked of he could tuck into one straight away, which of course I agreed to. He made so 'mmm' noises until could finish his cupcake and tell me they were amazing. My step-mother then decided she needed to test one out and thoroughly agreed with my Dad. Hubby was the next person to try one and said they were lovely, although not as nice as the coffee and chocolate loaf. And lastly my father-in-law tried one after his roast on Sunday. He tries to eat healthy but if cupcakes are there the temptation is too strong to resist. He has the one and when I went round the next morning to drop my daughter off with her grandma, she gave me the time with the remaining cupcakes in and said my father-in-law wants me to take them away as they are too nice! I tried one myself after my husband said the coffee wasn't a strong taste and I was disappointed with the cupcakes as you couldn't taste the coffee at all really. I guess this is down the me using the wrong type of espresso coffee and it not actually dissolving in the milk. I am going to make these again later in the year for my Dad and hubby, using the right coffee, and will let you know how they turn out.

Having issues in uploading the photos for this and the Choc and coffee loaf blog. Will try again later and hopefully it will have resolved itself.

Coffee and Chocolate Loaf

I made this loaf for my husband in honour of his birthday. Made it a little earlier than the weekend so he could have it to take away on his weekend fishing trip. I am not a coffee-fan, hence why I have avoided any of these recipes for a while, thought it was high time one was made and what a perfect excuse as a coffeeholics birthday.

I did a quick read through of the recipe and noted that the coffee needed to be boiled and cooled in advance so made up a small strong cup and left that to settle on the side. I then noticed I was missing a few ingredients and so had to pop off down to tescos to stock up.

Back from my trip and set about making up the sugar and butter base for the loaf. This loaf varies from the usual ones, in that it uses soft light brown sugar instead of the normal caster variety. Once the sugar is creamed with the butter you add the eggs one at a time and then the remaining dry ingredients until everything has been incorporated and is lovely and smooth. The cooled coffee is added to the milk before going into the batter with the dry ingredients. I did use a strong instant coffee but even so the recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon of coffee in the whole recipe.

I decided to add milk chocolate chips to the loaf and hand mixed them in once the batter had been made and was about to be poured into the (already greased and dusted) tin. I then decorated the top of the loaf with a few extra chocolate chips and into the oven it went for about 65 minutes, about 5 mins over the stated cooking time. Only cooked it a little longer as when put a skewer in to test it came out a little dirty. It was only after I had cooked the loaf and it was cooling that I remembered I had put the chips inside and so it was probably dirty from going through a melted one of them! Durr!

The loaf had risen quite a bit over the top of the time but had stayed in shape and once it was cool enough to handle, I tipped it out, which worked perfectly, and placed it into the rack to cool. Found that the loaf tin retains the heat for some time so takes the loaf itself longer to cool if left inside it.

The making of this loaf went well. I said in the previous blog that my scales finally gave up and I had to buy some cheapy ones just whilst I waited for my new shiny ones to come through from a magazine subscription (they were a free gift worth £14.99!) As it typically happens, a few days after I bought the cheap ones, having held out for a good month or longer with the busted ones, the new scales turned up at my door. I have to say they are rather nice though, a cyan blue colour and very sturdy. So the cheap £6.99 argos ones had their life cut short, battery removed and stored away on the top, so they cannot look at me forlornly, as a back up if I ever need it.

My husband came home as the loaf was cooling and said it smelt delicious, which I had to agree with even with the obvious coffee smell. Even though I cannot stand the taste I do love the smell of coffee, weird isn't it. He was anxious to try some but I scolded him as it was still hot and said he had to wait until his fishing trip and birthday the next day, so as soon as it was ready I wrapped it in clingfilm and packed it away with the rest of his food so he wouldn't be tempted.

Husband called the next day from his pitch at the lake and said the loaf was nice. It was very moist inside but with a nice crumble and crust to it. Did say the coffee taste wasn't as strong as he expected and it was mainly the chocolate that came through. I did think only 1 tablespoon wasn't much, especially compared with the amount of cocoa powder in the recipe, so think next time I make this I will add a little more coffee to the milk to get a stronger flavour. Other than that he loved the loaf and was wholly disappointed when he discovered the next morning that some errant mice had snacked away on it too. Next time he will guard his food a bit more closely I think!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Rose Cupcakes

I haven't made cupcakes for a few weeks now so decided to have a go at some and chose the Rose flavoured ones as they are simple to make and I have all the ingredients to hand. The rose flavouring comes from rosewater, which I found at our local Waitrose and used it in another recipe, a raspberry and rose tart I made back in January for our daughter's naming ceremony.

The recipe is like all the other simple flavoured ones, the usual ingredients but the rosewater gets mixed with the milk before being added to the crumb like dry ingredients. Easy enough and so into the cases the batter went. I managed to get a good 16 cupcakes from this batch, all of fairly equal proportions. They then go into the oven for 20 minutes. I always go with the longest time in the oven on any recipe, just to make sure.

The smell coming from the kitchen whilst these were cooking was wonderful. It smelt like a summer's day in the garden, which contrasted with the gloomy and chilly weather that was actually outside on this June day. These cupcakes, along with the jasmine and violet variations would go well at a BBQ, they seem to be the essence of summer, in cake form of course.

Having baked the cakes, they cooled on the side for a few hours whilst we were at the parent's for the birthday celebrations with the strawberries and cream cheesecake. On our return I whipped up the frosting for the cupcakes, using half the quantity stated as usual and set about spooning an equal amount of icing into the top of each cake. I got about 8 or so in when I realised I was going to colour the icing pink slightly, as they are in the cook book and to make them look a little less plain, considering I didn't have time to order in any of the candied rose petals the bakery use to finish theirs off.

Using my palette knife I scrapped the cupcakes off, icing back in the bowl and added a little red colouring, a few drops at a time, to get the right shade of pink I wanted. Off to icing them again, covering the little bit of white frosting that got left behind on the cupcakes as I went. I did debate about whether to make some little flowers out of rolled fondant to go onto the top of the cakes, something I thought would show off my skills and make them look even more irresistible but then decided it was too much work I was making for myself unnecessarily. The slight pink hue to the icing looked pretty enough as it was any way.

All frosted it was time for a well deserved cup of tea and, of course, a cupcake to accompany it. The icing did smell a little strong when I was finishing the cupcakes and I wondered if it would be a little overpowering come tasting time. It was not though, the icing wasn't as strong as expected and it complimented the delicate flavour of the sponge well. Everyone who has tried a Rose cupcake seems to like them, its not a taste most have tried or are against trying either. These are a lovely unusual flavour for a cupcake and I am very much looking forward to trying the two variations of this recipe now. 

Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake

Thought it was time to do another cheesecake and, since I was also looking at giving one of this weekend's goodies to my Stepmother for her birthday, the Strawberries and Cream flavour seemed the perfect choice.

Started out making the biscuit base. I only have a mini-blender so had to blitz them up in a few batches as couldn't fit all the biscuits in at once. Having whizzed that a few times the digestives were all mashed up. Then added the melted butter and mixed together with a wooden spoon until all the smashed up biscuit has been coated and can be compacted together.

I posted on my facebook blog before starting how to get a smooth edge to the cheesecakes. I usually line the tin with one big sheet of greaseproof paper but this folds on the sides and makes the edges of the cheesecake a little rough. Since this cake was to be a gift I obviously want it to look stunning but was unsure how badly the cheesecake would stick if no greaseproof paper was used on the sides. My followers and fellow bakers advised me that it wouldn't stick but some do used a thin strip of paper rather than nothing just in case. I ummed and ahhed about it for a while and decided not to use any as have found it can pull a few small chunks off the side and thought running a knife around the inside of the tin before releasing the spring side would work better.

Although I wasn't greasing the sides of the tin, I did cut a circle out to fit inside the bottom as the digestive base would most definitely stick and with the slight lip inside the tin it is difficult to get out. This inside, I spooned the biscuit base into the tin, smoothed it out with the back of a tablespoon and then into the fridge it went to set.

Whilst the base was setting I started on simmering the strawberries. They go into a saucepan with a minute amount of water and some sugar, brought to the boil then simmered until the liquid has halved and the strawberries are squishy. This has to be completely cooled before it can be added to the main cheesecake filling so I left it on the oven top and had a little break.

Break over and my cuppa gone, I set about whisking the philadelphia, sugar and eggs together that will make up the filling once the strawberries have been added. Once the main three ingredients have been combined with the electric whisk, I used my trust old wooden spoon again to stir in the strawberry mixture. I was worried that the remaining liquid might colour the filling, as in the cook book photo it is white. Due to this I added the strawberries first and then a little of the liquid at the time to make sure. I needn't have worried though as it didn't make a difference to the colour of the filling. The strawberries did seem to settle at the bottom though, even with me trying to make sure they were evenly distributed. This happened once the filling had been poured into the tin on top of the set biscuit base.

All combined it went into the oven for about 35 minutes in total. I used the water bath on the shelf underneath the cheesecake, which had to go onto the second shelf as my beef casserole was cooking above it. All cooked and I let it cool on the side for just over an hour before popping it into the fridge for the recommended 2 hours. By this time it was past 10pm but I wanted to get it finished that night as it was to be taken over to my parents around midday on Saturday.

The remaining ingredients, the icing sugar, double cream (whipped of course) and the mascarpone cheese, get mixed together and then layered on top of the main cheesecake itself and back into the fridge to set overnight. This was all completed on Friday night, all that remained was to decorate with fresh strawberries in the morning before we headed off for cake and present.

I was rather pleased with the decoration on top and as we were heading out the door I just ran my knife around the edge before releasing the tin and seeing my wonderfully smooth sided cheesecake. I then had to get the tin side back around it, as decided that was the easier and safest way to transport the cake without a major disaster.

Myself, hubby and stepmother all tucked into a slice after the presents had been opened. It was my favourite cheesecake made so far. Nice to have the creamy layer on the top of the cheesecake and the strawberry pieces inside the filling itself. Although as I stated earlier on, they did all sink to the bottom no matter how hard I tried but it didn't affect the taste of the cake. It went down well with all of us and the cheesecake was left their for the rest of the family to try. This did leave my husband feeling disappointed and so I promised I would make him a plain strawberry one the next day, just for our little family.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Vanilla and Cardamom Whoopie Pies

I have wanted to make some more whoopie pies for a while now. The last I made were in Carrot Cake ones down in Cornwall. The Cardamom is not a spice I have used or even come across until I got this cook book so wanted to have a go at baking with it.

I made this recipe at my Sister in law's and so had to bring my ingredients and some equipment along from my own kitchen. The first thing I had to do was ground the cardamom myself. Having searched the local supermarkets both myself and with my husband, we didn't have any success in finding any pre-ground cardamom and so I had to buy whole pods instead. They have a hard green shell which, once broken open, houses small black seed type things. Once I had released enough of the seeds I used the end of my rolling pin to grind them up into a powder as best I could. My initial idea was to put them into the mini blender I have but the black seeds are just too small for that.

Having ground the cardamom I packed up the rest of my ingredients, minus my dodgy scales and set off to my temporary kitchen. I made sure to check what was needed beforehand though, didn't need to forgot something vital once midway through baking.

Setting out to make the recipe, It was the same as any other whoopie pie recipe. I did struggle with the scales as they are not electric like mine but rather the old fashioned push down weight ones. The dial had to be adjusted to 0 manually every time a new bowl was put onto it before measuring anything and it seemed to take forever to creep upwards to the amount I needed. I also admit it took me a little while to work out exactly what it was going up in too..finally figured it was 25g not 20g so that also took a little adjusting on some ingredients.

Apart from getting used to the scales the mixing went well. We had a bit of a panic about not being able to find a measuring jug, I thought I needed one to measure the plain yoghurt but turned out I could actually use the scales so that was short lived thankfully.

Once all mixed the batter went into the fridge for 30 minutes and off I went on a little walk around the block to get my daughter to sleep. I had lined the baking trays with greaseproof paper before my trip out. My sister in law had two little and one large baking tray but I still managed to fit the stated 16 mounds to make 8 pies in total. Used a tablespoon to get the amounts, a pretty heaped one seemed to be the perfect amount.

The one thing about making whoopie pies is getting the mixture into the mounds on the trays. The batter is so thick once its been cooled and too sticky to use your hands to roll into the perfect shapes. I used the back of the tablespoon and although they looked fairly equal if not a little rough before baking they came out looking perfect once cooked.

Waiting for them just to cool enough, I then packed them up and headed home to finish the filling there. I then realise that even though I had remembered the whoopie pies themselves, all my ingredients and equipment, baby supplies and the baby herself, I had forgotten my Hummingbird cook book and left it wide open on the kitchen side. What a silly billy I am.

Unfortunately my sister in law wasn't feeling well and couldn't return it to me nor message me the filling ingredients and method so I called upon my dear followers and fellow bakers to help me out. Having been told how to make the filling I set about it in my own kitchen this time. Everything went smoothly, even the mixing of the icing sugar and butter now I have my trusty bowl guard to stop the dreaded smog cloud of sugar going everywhere. Then came to adding the marshmallow fluff. The recipe calls for 220g and one jar is only 213g, not that you can get the whole of that amount out of the jar. Now here is where I was naughty and did not actually measure the fluff out. It is so gooey that you get the right amount into the bowl for measuring and then can not get the full amount out again. I scrapped as much as I could out of the first jar and then just added an extra tablespoon from the second jar. This seemed to be how much I used the last few times I have made whoopie pies but it is cheating a little, baking is a science after all.

The filling came together nicely and then went into the fridge for 30 minutes, same as the batter the previous day. I did get engrossed in a programme and so it was in there a little longer than that. The filling is a little difficult to spread too but again used a tablespoon heaped full for each pie. I only had 14 to sandwich together as my husband nicked two halves to eat alone. He is not keen on any sort of icing so I let him off. All filled and assembled it was photo time.

This done I headed to bed. The pies smelt and looked delicious but my stomach was still feeling a little delicate after the stomach bug over the weekend so I left the tasting till the next day. This came with my first cuppa of the day. Apart from some of the filling spilling out from the sides when bitten into, these whoopie pies were lovely. The cardamom wasn't a strong taste yet it added depth to the plainness of the vanilla. The filling didn't seem a sickly sweet as when it was in the chocolate whoopie pies. Could have been that maybe there wasn't the same amount of marshmallow fluff but then the carrot cake pies seemed to be okay as well. More than likely there was too much fluff in my first attempt at the whoopie pies with the chocolate ones. Either way, the vanilla and cardamom are recommended for sure.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Rhubarb and Almond Loaf

Due to rhubarb being in season at the moment, now was the time to make this recipe. I can't remember eating rhubarb much so this will be a relatively new taste to me.

To start off you need to stew the rhubarb in a mixture of butter, sugar and a small amount of water. This goes into a pan with the chopped rhubarb and left to simmer until it is soft. I used the 4-5 stalks as stated for this recipe but once in the pan it seemed to be too much, as would have filled the loaf tin with just the rhubarb so I took half of it out before it started to cook.

Whilst this was on the hob I whisked the sugar and butter together and then added the eggs one at a time until it all came together. The dry ingredients then had to be sifted together and half added to the butter mixture, then half the milk and then repeated until everything was incorporated well. I then needed to stir in the rhubarb but was unsure if I should add just the chopped and stewed rhubarb or if the liquid used to stew as well. I took to facebook to see if any of my fellow bakers could help. The bakery itself advised that the rhubarb should have turned into a sort of mush and so everything gets added, which once I looked at the now cooled mixture it had.

This was added to the batter and stirred in with a spoon until it had spread evenly through the mixture. I had prepared my loaf tin with my fail safe greasing method of butter dusted with flour. The mixture was poured into the tin and it seemed the rhubarb had added to the volume quite a lot and the mixture filled the whole tin right to the top. I decided to skim a little off the top to stop it all overflowing. Then sprinkled the flaked almonds on the top and into the oven it went.

Whilst it was cooking I could see it had risen way over the top of the tin although luckily it didn't run down the sides and stayed in one piece. Once it had cooked for an hour it came out to cool on the side. The tin stays hot for ages so I placed the whole tin on the cooling rack to try and help the heat dissipate a bit quicker. Once cooled enough to handle I removed the loaf and back onto the cooling rack it went.

My husband couldn't wait to try it but once he cut into it, the amount and look of the rhubarb put him off. I have to admit it didn't actually look like the photo in the cook book, I think the chunks may have been too big and the colour was more green than the red stalks. I was brave and despite the look I braved it and had a taste. The texture was a little odd as it seems the middle of the loaf was mainly just rhubarb but I was surprised by the taste. It was sweet with a tang to it which was nice. Even so I don't think this is one loaf we will be gobbling up. Not sure if it just our personal tastes or if it came out slightly different than it should have.