I love rhubarb season, it’s probably the only seasonal produce that I really get excited about. Well, that and asparagus, but who doesn’t get a jolly on for asparagus?
I was visiting a local farm shop recently, picking up some bits and bobs for lunch when my eye was caught by a massive tub of the beautiful rosy stalks. The lovely lady who worked their informed me it had just been picked from their fields that morning. That’s all I needed to hear, so I loaded up my basket with the pink stems and off I trotted.
Sadly Kris isn’t as much of a fan of rhubarb as I, claiming it’s too tart, so all ideas of rhubarb crumble went right out the window. After much deliberation I decided to create a rhubarb compote to fill some custard flavoured cupcakes, genius. The best thing about owning a cake shop is I get to bake as many cakes as I want and they never go to waste, there’s always a bustling crowd desperate to try out any experimental sponges.
You will need:
175g butter, softened
150g self-raising flour
50g custard powder
175g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 large, free range eggs
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
For the compote:
450g rhubarb, cut into chunks
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting:
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar
50g custard powder
For the compote place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Simmer for around 20 minutes or until the compote is thick and smelling delicious, add the vanilla extract then remove from the heat. Set aside while you make the cupcakes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
Place all of your cake ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix to combine. Once all of the ingredeints are blended together, using an ice cream scoop divide the mixture between the cupcake cases.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden and spring back with touched. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out to finish cooling on a wire rack.
When the cakes are cool cut a hollow out from the middle of each sponge, this is easiest with an apple corer, and fill with the rhubarb compote.
To make the frosting place the butter, vanilla, custard powder, icing sugar and half of the milk into your electric mixer and mix to combine. If your frosting is looking too stiff add a bit more milk until you reach a pipable consistancy.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle the pipe tall swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake. Top with a fondant flower or pink sprinkles to finish.