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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Rhubard & Custard Genoise Cake

This delicate genoise cake recipe marries the classic flavour combination of rhubarb and custard, teaming it with orange for extra deliciousness.  It produces a wonderfully delicious light sponge cake which is perfect for sharing over afternoon tea.    

Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Sponge Cake Recipe

Now that forced rhubarb has hit the shops it would seem rude not to take advantage of those delicious & beautiful slender red stems and bake something equally delicious.   It's such a versatile fruit vegetable which can easily be used in a host of different recipes, such as crumble (like our classic recipe for rhubarb and ginger crumble), in cakes, or even made into a jam or curd.  I'm also led to believe, for those carnivores out there,  that the natural sharpness of rhubarb cuts through the oily qualities of mackerel really well!

Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Sponge Cake Recipe, made with forced rhubarb and a little orange

One cake I'm particularly drawn to, aesthetically, is the Fraisier cake, no doubt popularised by GBBO's technical challenge a few years ago.  The halved strawberries positioned upright around the edge of a classic genoise cake and surrounded by creme patissiere simply looks stunning.  Last spring that cake inspired me to try something similar, replacing the strawberries with with rhubarb and orange.  Short baked batons of rhubarb stood on end around the edge of a sponge cake, alternated with orange segments and filled with a patissierie custard.  Alas, though, despite its amazing flavour combo, it didn't make it to the blog due to structural stability, or rather instability! 

That wasn't the end of the rhubarb and custard cake inspiration though.  The idea has stayed in my 'to bake list' all year.  As forced rhubarb is now available in the supermarkets and a genoise sponge cake had been made in my recent side-by-side baking comparison the cake was revisited with a few necessary alterations.


How to make Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Cake with forced rhubarb

The genoise cake, once cold, was carefully cut in half and a little of the prepared creme patissiere was spread on the bottom half of the cake.  Baked rhubarb stems were then arranged (this time horizontally rather than vertically!) on top of the custard.  A generous amount of  rhubarb and orange homemade jam was spooned into the centre of the cake.  Basic 'blobs' of the creme patissiere was then piped between the rhubarb batons.  The top half of the cake was then replaced and this was topped with an orange water icing and orange zest.

The assembly image below hopefully shows how easily this cake can be put together, far easier than the classic Fraisier cake, though be warned you may need a pair of sunglasses to view it!  The natural vibrant colours of the rhubarb teamed with the homemade creme patissiere really 'sings' out loud!  Trust me, colour editing definitely wasn't used!

How to make Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Cake with forced rhubarb
       
This rhubarb and custard genoise cake is teamed with orange.  Rhubarb and orange is such a lovely flavour combination.  And the creaminess of the custard (creme patissiere) works so well with the sharpness of the rhubarb.

Rhubarb and Genoise Cake recipe, perfect for afternoon tea.

As you can possibly tell, this Rhubarb and Custard Genoise is quite a delicate cake.  It's certainly not the sort of cake  which can be packaged up in a lunch box (unless you're happy with custard and rhubarb jam being all over the your sandwiches!) and therefore it's best eaten with a fork.  Afternoon tea with friends and family springs to mind as being the perfect way to share this delicious bake.

Rhubarb and Genoise Cake recipe, perfect for afternoon tea.

Now before we jump to the recipe, I feel a few more words about forced rhubarb are needed.  Forced rhubarb is grown in darkened sheds and harvested by candle light at this time of year.  It is grown not too far away from where Mr E & I live in West Yorkshire in what is called the rhubarb triangle, an area of just 9 square miles.  As such it has been awarded the Protected Designation of Origin status.  The stems produced by the plant are far more slender, and therefore more suitable for this particular bake, than those of summer rhubarb which is grown outdoors.

If you're looking for forced rhubarb in the supermarket I'd fully recommend checking the details on the label before popping it into your basket.  When we purchased our bundle of forced rhubarb from a local supermarket both summer (heaven knows how far it had travelled!) and forced rhubarb shared the same shelf space making it a little more challenging to get the correct type!  The variety we bought was called 'Timperley' and was grown by E Oldroyd in Yorkshire.    Varieties to look out for are: Timperley Early, Stockbridge Harbinger, Reeds Early Superb, Stockbridge Arrow, Queen Victoria and Cawood Delight.   If you're unable to source it from your local supermarket or green grocers, E Oldroyd (link above) now runs a mail order service!





So, let's get to it and bake Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Cake.






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Rhubarb & Custard Genoise Cake
This delicate genoise cake recipe marries the classic flavour combination of rhubarb and custard, teaming it with orange for extra deliciousness.  It produces a wonderfully delicious light sponge cake which is perfect for sharing over afternoon tea. 


Details
Hands on time: Bake time:     Yield: serves 8

Specific Equipment
    21cm Spring Form or loose bottomed cake tin.  It needs to be a deep cake tin rather than a shallow sandwich tin.
    1 x Disposable piping bag

Ingredients
For the Creme Patissiere 
  • 300ml  Single Cream
  • 200ml Milk (ideally full fat)
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • 50g Corn Flour
  • 25g Butter (unsalted)
  • 1 - 2 capfuls Orange Extract (we use Valencian Orange Extract from Sainsburys)
For the Genoise Sponge
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 90g Caster Sugar (use 50/50 white and golden caster if you like)
  • 1 Orange - Zest of
  • 90g Plain Flour, + 1 tsp for preparing the cake tin
  • 15g Melted Butter, + extra (not melted) for preparing the cake tin.
For the Rhubarb and Orange Jam
  • 4-5 stems Forced Rhubarb, washed
  • 2 Oranges - Zest of 1, Juice of 2 (reserving 3-4 dessert spoons of juice for the icing)
  • 1 lemon - Juice of
  • 2 - 3 tbsp Sugar
For the Rhubarb Batons
  •  3 stems of Forced Rhubarb, washed
For the water Icing
  • 60g - 80g Icing Sugar
  • Orange Juice (reserved from preparing the jam above)

Method
1. Make the creme patissiere (crem pat). Pour the cream and milk into a good sized pan.  Set on the hob and allow to come almost to the boil.  Set the pan aside.  In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together to combine.  Add the cornflour and mix until smooth.  Sit the bowl on a kitchen towel to keep it still whilst whisking.  Pour half of the hot milk over the egg mixture whisking all of the time.  Pour the egg mixture back into the pan, continuing to stir all of the time.  Set the pan over a medium heat and allow the custard to cook whilst stirring thoroughly all of the time with a wooden spoon.   If the custard starts to go a little lumpy as it begins to thicken take it off the heat and beat well until smooth again.  Continue to cook the crem pat until a line can be drawn on the back of the wooden spoon without the custard trickling back into the line.  The custard should be thick.  Add the orange extract and beat in well.  Taste, and add a little more if necessary.  Pour the custard into a clean bowl (passing it through a sieve if necessary).  Cover with clingfilm ensuring the clingfilm is in direct contact with the custard to prevent a skin from forming.  Set aside to cool.2. Prepare the cake tin.  Thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of the cake tin.  Line the base with greaseproof paper.  Place a teaspoonful of plain flour into the cake tin.  Position the cake tin over the sink.  Rotate the tin to encourage the flour to stick to the buttered sides of the cake tin.  Ensure all of the sides are floured.  Tap out any excess flour. 3. Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ / 170℃ Fan / 350℉ / Gas 4. 4. Start to make the genoise batter.  Set up a bain marie with a large bowl suspended over a pan of water.  Ensure the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl and that the bain marie is stable.  Position the bain marie on the hob over a medium heat.  Break the eggs into the bowl,  add the sugar and orange zest.  Use a hand held beater on slow to combine the eggs and sugar together.  Increase the speed of the beaters.  Beat the eggs and sugar together until they are very thick, pale and have substantially increased in volume.  This will take at least 7 minutes.  Turn off the beaters.  Lift some of the batter with the beaters and aim to write the figure '8' in the batter.  The batter is ready when the full digit can be written without it sinking back into the bowl before the shape is finished. 5. Continue preparing the genoise batter.  Remove the bowl from the bain marie and gently set it down on the work surface.  Pour the melted butter down the side of the batter so as not to deflate it.  Sieve the flour into the bowl.  With a spatula or a clean hand fold the flour and butter into the beaten egg mixture.  Aim to work gently but quickly and thoroughly, ensuring that there are no trapped pockets of flour.  6. Bake. Pour the batter into the cake tin from a low height. Put the cake tin into the centre of the oven.  Bake for 20 - 23 minutes.  The cake should be well risen, pulling away from the sides of the tin and with a golden colour.  It should be springy to the touch.  7. Cool.   Remove the cake from the oven and set onto a cooling rack.  Once the tin is cool enough to handle release the sides of the tin from the cake.  Allow the cake to cool some more before removing the cake from the base. 8. Meanwhile, make the rhubarb and orange jam.  Remove the ends of the rhubarb.  Cut the rhubarb into roughly 2cm pieces and put into a small pan with the orange zest and juices (remembering to retain 3-4 dessert spoons of the juice for the icing).  Set the pan on the hob over a low to medium light.  Allow the rhubarb to cook and break down, stirring periodically.  Add 2 tbsp sugar and stir.  Continue cooking the jam until it has substantially reduced in volume and is a nice thick mixture.  Taste and add a little more sugar as necessary.  9. Prepare the rhubarb batons. Once the cake has been removed from the oven, reduce the temperature to 130℃ /110℃ Fan / 230℉ / Gas 1/4.  Trim the ends off the rhubarb stems.  Cut the stems into 5-6cm long batons.  Lay them on a baking tray.  Place into the cooled oven and bake for 10 minutes.  They should be tender when a sharp knife is inserted. Remove the tray from the oven and set the batons aside to cool. 10. Make the water icing.   Place the icing sugar into a small bowl.  Add 1 dessert spoon of the reserved orange juice and mix.  Add small amounts of orange juice until an icing has been made that isn't too runny.  Add a little more icing sugar if it becomes a little too loose. 11. Assemble.   Place the completely cooled cake onto your chosen serving stand, remembering to remove the greaseproof paper from the base of the cake.  Slice it in half horizontally with a bread knife.  Carefully set aside the top half of the cake.  Stir the prepared crem pat thoroughly and place 2 spoonfuls of the mixture onto the bottom half of the cake.  Use the back of the spoon to spread it out.  Add a little more if necessary.  You're not aiming for a thick layer.  Arrange the baked rhubarb batons on top of the custard, positioning the ends of the batons so that they are at the edge of the cake and pointing towards to centre.  Spoon some of the rhubarb jam into the centre of the cake so that it touches the edges of the batons.   Fill the piping bag with the remaining custard (no nozzle required) and pipe 'blobs' of the custard between the rhubarb sticks.  Pipe smaller blobs of custard on top of the rhubarb batons, aiming to get a level surface for the top of the cake to rest on.  Replace the lid of the cake, ideally in the same orientation that it was removed.  Top the cake with the prepared water icing, using the back of a spoon to gently spread it out.  Just before serving top the cake with a little orange zest (optional).
Notes:
a) The egg whites remaining from making the creme patissiere can be placed into an airtight container and frozen. b) The creme patissiere can be made the day ahead if necessary.  Store it in the fridge once it has completely cooled.  c) The genoise batter will take longer to beat up than 7 minutes if the eggs are cold from the fridge.  d)  Aim to work safely with the bain marie.  If the beaters do not reach the pan safely allow the eggs to warm over the bain marie until they feel lukewarm (neither warm nor cold) to the touch and then remove the bowl from the pan beating the mixture on the work surface as normal.  e)  Although you could purchase a jar of shop bought rhubarb jam for this cake, often it is flavoured with ginger.  Supermarket rhubarb jam is also pale in colour rather than being a vibrant crimson colour when made with forced rhubarb.  f) If you're unable to source forced rhubarb from the supermarket or green grocers, http://www.yorkshirerhubarb.co.uk/ruhbarb_triangle.htm can supply it via mail order.











 

 

 

 

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Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Sponge Cake Recipe, made with forced rhubarb and a little orange





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This post has been shared with:

 Bake of the Week co-hosted by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps and Helen at Casa Costello
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18 comments:

  1. This looks SO good Angela. I haven't had any rhubarb yet this year for some reason - must rectify this ASAP. #CookBlogShare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Mandy, I'm loving the new rhubarb season - I jave another rhubarb recipe coming up soon!
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. It looks so good! I like rhubarb a lot, so I'm sure I would love this cake. Yummy! x

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  3. This cake looks pretty fabulous, Angela, I especially like the shot from above you posted on Instagram, the rhubarb looks so vibrant! And I love the orange flavour in this cake too:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, those colours are very vibrant aren't they! I'm so glad our camera managed to capture the intensity of it.
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. This is a gorgeous cake Angela. I really love anything with rhubarb and custard flavours and this definitely ticks the boxes x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rhubarb and custard is just great isn't it - you really can't beat it! Dad, who had a slice of it, has even asked me to make another of them!
      Angela x

      Delete
  5. What a clever woman you are! This cake is genius. Absolutely fabulous! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Kate, though I must say you're the clever one working successfully with gluten free bakes!
      Angela x

      Delete
  6. I love this cake - the colours are so amazing, that hot pink against the custardy coloured buttercream is fabulous. I bet this tasted so good too, and adding some orange is a great flavour idea x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou Jenny, the colurs really pop don't they! The orange worked so well with both the custard and rhubarb, just scrummy! Dad has even requested that I make another one!
      Angela x

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  7. oh Angela You've done it again I want to make this so much and its only a matter of time before I do!

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Jacqueline, it really was absolutely delicious. I mean rhubarb and custard with a hint of orange is just heaven! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do if you give it a go :-)
      Angela x

      Delete
  8. Oh wow!!! I need this cake in my life!!! I need to set aside a Slimming World free day when I can bake and eat cake! Love this! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha thankyou Kirsty :-) In all fairness I have to say this recipe isn't as 'naughty' as many cakes recipes that could be made.
      Angela x

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  9. This looks so scrummy! What a perfect mixture of flavours and so neatly presented too :)

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  10. Isn't the colour of that rhubarb just glorious? Thanks for the link to Yorkshire Rhubarb - great to have a recommendation. Thanks so much for being part of #BakeoftheWeek. Always a pleasure to see your creations.

    ReplyDelete

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