Yesterday I made an incredibly sour rhubarb crumble. I didn’t add enough sugar and there wasn’t any sweet custard, either, so it was barely edible. Today I gave rhubarb another go and I didn’t skimp on the sugar this time. This recipe is for a very traditional German summer cake. The rhubarb is baked in a sweet vanilla sponge and then topped with meringue for a bit of crunch and some extra sweetness. With some whipped cream it tastes particularly good. The recipe makes a 24cm round cake – it can easily be doubled for a larger square tin.
For the sponge:
125 g butter
125 g sugar
Seeds from one vanilla pod or some vanilla essence
1 egg and two egg yolks
125 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
300 – 400 g rhubarb, peeled and cut into chunks
For the meringue:
2 egg whites
125 g sugar
For the sponge cake, mix the butter (at room temperature), sugar, eggs and vanilla until fairly fluffy. Combine the flour and the baking powder and fold into the batter. Spoon the batter into a greased cake tin and smooth the surface. Then add the rhubarb chunks. Bake this at about 200 degrees for 30 minutes.
In the meantime make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then slowly add the sugar. Continue whisking until the mixture is shiny and stiff.
When the cake is baked remove it from the oven and add the meringue topping. You can just spoon it on top and swirl the surface with a fork, or you can pipe it on in a pattern of your choice. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so at 200 degrees. The meringue should turn slightly golden, but it should not turn brown.