Forced rhubarb has been available since January, grown in dark forcing sheds, where the very pink shoots grow rapidly in their desperate search for ligh
Rhubarb & Ginger Cake
Makes 1 x 22cm cake
150g salted butter, at room temperature
150g golden caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp
2 medium eggs
200g ground almonds
Zest or 1 lemon
2 balls stem ginger, roughly chopped
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
350g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 4cm lengths (cut in half lengthways first if very fat)
Stem ginger syrup for drizzling
1/ Preheat the oven 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease a 22cm springform tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
2/ Whisk in the eggs one at a time until creamy. Add the ground almonds, lemon zest and ginger. Sift over the flour and baking powder and mix well.
3/ Spoon half the mixture into the tin, carefully spreading it right to the edges. Arrange just under half the rhubarb on top, keeping it away from the edges of the tin. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of the extra sugar.
4/ Spoon over the rest of the cake mixture, then spread it to cover the rhubarb. Arrange the rest of the rhubarb on top, in a circle, filling in any gaps (keeping it away from the edges). Scatter over the brown sugar.
5/ Bake for 1 hour until golden, cover with a tent of foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until firm to the touch in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before drizzling over a few teaspoons of the stem ginger syrup.