WORTH ITS WEIGHT
SEASONAL PRODUCE FROM TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN BREATHES FRESH LIFE INTO A TIME-HONOURED BAKING TRADITION
Traditionally, a pound cake was prepared with one pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. As this is way more than a modern-day family could consume, I reckon it was so called as that’s how much weight you put on when you ate it. This recipe preserves the simple ratio and pairs it with beautifully poached Tamborine Mountain rhubarb.
RHUBARB POUND CAKE
4 large rhubarb stalks
400g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
200g plain flour, plus extra for flouring the pan
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
4 tbsp milk
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing 4 large eggs, at room temperature
25g icing sugar
1 lemon, zested
Preheat oven to 170C. Cut rhubarb to fit crosswise inside the top of a 22cm x 12½cm loaf pan. Combine half the sugar, 250ml water and half the vanilla, and bring to boil. Simmer until sugar dissolves then add rhubarb, simmer for 1 min, then remove from heat. Cool, then slice pieces in half lengthwise, reserving the poaching liquid. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk and remaining vanilla. In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle, beat butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Beat in half of flour mixture until just combined, then add milk mixture until barely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat in remaining flour mixture until just combined. Butter and flour the loaf pan then scrape half the batter into prepared pan, then place half of rhubarb slices on top. Cover with remaining batter and smooth the top. Bake for 20 mins then remove pan from oven and quickly place remaining rhubarb slices on top. Return pan to oven and bake until skewer comes out clean, another 40 mins. While cake bakes, simmer rhubarb-poaching liquid until syrupy and brush on top of cake once it comes out of the oven. For the chantilly cream, whisk cream and icing sugar to stiff peaks in a food mixer. Add zest and slowly stream in buttermilk with the mixer on medium speed. Whip to medium peaks. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack before serving with chantilly.