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.

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