Friday, May 5, 2006


The rhubarb season is one of my favorite as it coincides with the beginning of spring and the promise of sweet summer days ahead...

This humble plant, indigenous to Asia, might look a bit uninteresting at first with it's large leaves, but when taking the time to see it under a different light, it's stalks are marvelously reddish-pink and it is this colour that makes it very special once cooked. It's pretty pigmentation isn't the only characteristic that draws us to it, but also it's wonderful acidulated (oxalic acids) taste and the thousands of cooking possibilities it offers! And contrarily to what many people might think, rhubarb is not only used in the confection of pies or other baked goodies/desserts, but it associates itself very well with meat, fish and other savory dishes (yes, yes...)!

So, don't pucker when you hear the word "rhubarb" as since sugar is a basic staple in our kitchen (since the 17th century), there is no need to snob this wonderful natural product!...

Enjoy this special upside-down cak now as you won't be able to eat it all year round, because, in our latitudes, rhubarb is only available between april and june!!!

Serves 3-4 people

1 Litre (2 Pint) buttered pie dish (21cm).
50g Unsalted butter
100g Light brown sugar
450g-470g Rhubarb, cut in 2cm (1/2 inch) cubes
1/2 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/3 Tsp Ground ginger

Pudding mixture:
200g Plain white flour
1 1/2-2 Tsp Baking powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
100g Unsalted butter
100g Castor sugar
The rind of one lemon, finely grated
1 Pinch mace (~1/4 Tsp)
2 Eggs (~50g)
~9 Tbs Buttermilk

1. For the base, melt the butter and stir in the sugar.
2. Cover the bottom of the pie dish with this mixture.
3. Arrange the cubed rhubarb over the base.
4. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and ginger.
5. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
6. For the pudding/cake, sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
7. Rub in (cut in) the butter.
8. Add the sugar, mace and lemon rind.
9. Toss the ingredients lightly together.
10. Lightly beat the eggs and buttermilk together.

11. Mix to a fairly soft batter with the egg/buttermilk mixture.
12. Spread the pudding/cake batter over the rhubarb in the dish.
13. Transfer the dish in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
14. Then, reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake further for about 35 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
15. Leave in dish for 5 minutes.
16. Turn the pudding/cake out on to a warm plate.
17. Eat straight away.

Instead of buttermilk, use milk.
You can also use five or 4 four spices instead of cinnamon and ginger.
Don't overbeat the batter; like with all cake batter, it doesn't like any kind harsh treatment otherwise it gets elastic.

Serving suggestions:
Eat as a dessert or main course and serve with condensed milk or double cream poured over your slice of pudding/cake.

(Rhubarb 1 -Pic by Unknown)
(Rhubarb 2 -Pic by


  1. What a gorgeous cake, Rosa! I love rhubarb and usually enjoy it in pies, jams and compotes, but have never tried it in an upside-down cake. What a delicious idea!

  2. That looks really delicious Rosa!! I love rhubarb, we grew it in the back garden when I was a child.

  3. Che bello, Rosa!

    I'm not crazy about rhubarb but I loved reading about it in your post. The picture of the rhubarb is also very nice.

    Well done!

  4. That looks very yummy!

  5. Lovely cake Rosa. Can you translate mace for me?

  6. TANIA: Thanks! Try it and you'll see how delicious it is!...

    PAMELA: ;-)! You were very lucky to have rhubarb in your garden...

    IVONNE: Grazie tante! How come you not be attracted by this fabulous plant ;-))?!!!...

    LINDA: Thank you!

    Gracianne: Merci! Mace = macis. C'est l'enveloppe fibreuse qui entoure la noix de muscade dans son fruit...

  7. hmmm rhubarb pudding ! yummi !

  8. How interesting for me! Thanks for sharing this!