Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard 

Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard - A deliciously comforting cake packed with creamy custard, warming cardamom, and perfectly pink seasonal rhubarb!

Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard – A deliciously comforting cake packed with creamy custard, warming cardamom, and perfectly pink seasonal rhubarb!

Happy February! Gosh January has felt like a long month! Doesn’t Christmas feel like a life time ago?

As soon as the Christmas tree is down and the decorations are packed away I’m looking out for the first signs of spring. I don’t love Winter. I do love festivities, and the first excuse to wear a cosy jumper, or drink hot chocolate, or plan trips to the Christmas markets.

But I don’t love the grey days and long nights. After years of living a little closer to the equator darkness by 4 o’clock has taken some real getting used to. I can’t wait for the warm spring days and the lighter nights that herald summer being on its way.

Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom Custard - A deliciously comforting cake packed with creamy custard, warming cardamom, and perfectly pink seasonal rhubarb!

I saw the first crocuses of the year at the weekend, and the first little clusters of snow drops, and goodness I can’t tell you how happy they made me! The daffodils have started to poke their little green shoots above the ground, and it won’t be long until their yellow heads are dancing in the breeze. Trees are forming those little velvety buds that will soon burst into snowy white and pretty pink blossoms. Catkins swing on branches. Maybe it’s just me, but even the birds seem to be singing a brighter song.

Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard - A deliciously comforting cake packed with creamy custard, warming cardamom, and perfectly pink seasonal rhubarb!

With the first of the bulbs in bloom come the first of the early season foods. My favourites are the colourful flavourful foods that get me excited for the crop of summer. Blood oranges and pink forced rhubarb are my absolute favourites. The colours are vivid, vibrant and alive. They’re a reminder that colour and light will soon be coming back into the world after the long dark winter. Their tastes are fresh and tart rather than earthy and wintery.

Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard - A deliciously comforting cake packed with creamy custard, warming cardamom, and perfectly pink seasonal rhubarb!

This cake feels perfect for this time of year. It fits in with that Danish notion of Hygge and cosiness that has been so popular over the past couple of years. It has a layer of custard covering a rich sweet sponge with a dense yet tender crumb. Its topped with the most beautiful seasonal pink rhubarb, lightly cooked in a  sugary cardamom syrup. It’s warming, it’s comforting. It’s like a big hug in a cake. Just what you need when the weather is still grey and gloomy. And yet its not heavy like a Christmas cake, its not using up the fruit of the old year like an apple pie. It’s looking forward to Spring and the harvest of the new year. The bright pink stalks are hopeful and joyful. It’s the kind of cake that makes my heart happy and lifts my dull winter mood.

Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard - A deliciously comforting cake packed with creamy custard, warming cardamom, and perfectly pink seasonal rhubarb!

What are your favourite things to cook and bake this time of year? What seasonal ingredients do you love?

Jennie xx

Notes//

– Recipe from Little Birdie.

– I used this ready made custard from Waitrose, but you can use any ready made custard.

Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard
 
Danish Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom and Custard  - A deliciously comforting cake packed with creamy custard, warming cardamom, and perfectly pink seasonal rhubarb!
Ingredients
  • ---- for the topping
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 sticks forced rhubarb, cut into 10cm long pieces
  • ---- for the cake
  • 100ml ready made custard
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Method
  1. Start by making your topping. Melt the butter, and sugar together in a saucepan over a low heat. Add in the ground cardamom and the vanilla extract, followed by the rhubarb. Gently cook the rhubarb for about 5 minutes, stirring it regularly until its coated in the sugary syrup. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
  2. Next, put your custard in a small pan along with the cornflour. Heat it gently, stirring until it has slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Now you're going to make the cake batter. Grease and line a 23cm spring form cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ 350F. .
  4. Cream together your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring that each egg is fully combined before adding in the next one, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Finally, add in the plain flour, baking powder and salt, and fold until combined.
  6. Pour into your prepared tin and smooth into an even layer. Top with your cooled, thickened custard, then your rhubarb mixture, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the syrup.
  7. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, until the top is golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. You might find you have patches on the top that still feel liquidy with the custard, but the cake underneath should be cooked through.
  8. Cool the cake in the tin, then pour the reserved syrup over the top.

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