Let’s talk Rhubarb

2016-03-04 19.24.32

An army marches on its stomach. No doubt this cliché is true. It is also true for me and writing. I’m productive when I’m reasonably replete – not snooze-full nor a snack short of satisfied.

Confession number one. Baking is one of my top four distractions from writing. It is up there with walking, the garden and a Test match.

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the topping

Confession number two. I have a sweet tooth so puddings, cakes and buns have a great attraction.

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eggs, sugar and butter

Puts those together and we come to the reason for this post. A simple to make, yet great pudding that, if it survives overnight, becomes a cake to die for. For which to die? Hmm is that the correct grammatical form. Feels a bit like my first gear box – clunky.

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The rhubarb

The principle ingredient is rhubarb – a favourite for its flexibility and not easily suppressed flavour. Even if you turn usually your nose up at rhubarb – don’t, give the beauty a chance – you will love this.

Rhubarb Squares



25g/1oz butter, melted

100g/4oz golden caster sugar [you can reduce this sugar by at least a quarter if you wish]

100g/4oz mixed nuts and berries, roughly chopped

1 tsp cinnamon


100g/4oz butter, softened

250g/9oz dark muscovado sugar [nb: we often use light brown sugar and only 6oz, and it works fine]

1 large egg

225g/8oz plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch salt

380 ml soured cream

300g/10oz rhubarb, cut into 1cm pieces [nb any firm fruit works well e.g. cooking apples, pears, or a mix]

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fresh from the oven


1 Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C. Line a 33x23cm/13x9in deep baking tin with baking paper.

2. Mix melted butter with nuts, caster sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside

3. Beat softened butter with muscovado sugar and egg. When smooth and creamy, stir in flour and bicarbonate of soda, salt and soured cream in that order. Add the fruit last and stir well

4. Pour into lined baking tin and sprinkle with topping. Bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

5. Serve immediately as a pudding or leave to cool (our preference) and cut into squares and have with tea or coffee. Keeps for a few days in an airtight tin (in theory – it never lasts long enough here).

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cooled and cut; let it go cold and keep in the fridge over night for the bes cake!


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in baking, cake, cooking, miscellany and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Let’s talk Rhubarb

  1. That looks so appetising, also like the video footage included in this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that is my idea of a real dessert! Cakey stuff with fruit in it. You can keep your sophisticated choux pastry with crème anglaise and whatnot. I’ll bet it doesn’t often live to fight another day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    This does look great, so I’ve added it to my Pinterest recipe board which gives me the illusion that I might actually make it some day (a baker I am not). Only problem – apart from your book covers, your images won’t pin so it now looks like a recipe for dead fly and sherry trifle. Let’s see how may repins that gets!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue Vincent says:

    Ooh… I can feel a baking session coming on 🙂 Thanks Geoff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa Reiter says:

    Thank you Geoff – book marked for baking! 😀


  6. I can smell the rhubarb from here. I’ll have the fruit and nuts and skip the rest.
    This does look like any easy recipe, good enough for company. Great demonstration, Geoff. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Allie P. says:

    I love rhubarb, but it’s not very popular in the South US where I live. In fact, it is so unknown that most times when I get it at the market I have to explain to the cashier that it isn’t red celery. Looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There’s simply not enough good rhubarb recipes in the world Geoff – thanks for this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sacha Black says:

    1. You are wearing a hoody…. A HOODY……..!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? #hero
    2. I hate rhubarb
    3. You should submit these to the guardian – Esther does that and has been published in the guardian a number of times.
    4…. A HOOOOOOODY?! *lollllz*

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The phrase ‘to die for’ ain’t grammatical innit? But is is perfect and is not something with which to interfere when writ

    Liked by 1 person

  11. noelleg44 says:

    A great-looking dish with rhubarb! My mother was a big fan of rhubarb – we often had it stewed for breakfast and it made your mouth pucker. I prefer a stawberry-rhubarb pie (Hubs’ favorite) but this could be made with them as well. YUM!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. John made a ‘forced’ rhubarb crumble on Sunday. It was ‘to die’ for.
    I still say you can take over the vacant spot Mary Berry will soon leave behind on BBC2 on a Monday evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rachel M says:

    I love rhubarb and have a delicious rhubarb crumble recipe. Maybe I should share it.

    Liked by 1 person

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