Rhubarb Cardamom Cake

Rhubarb Cardamom Cake 1

When I was little my mum grew forced rhubarb in the garden, under a piece of scrap metal. I don’t recall whether it was an old sink or an oil drum, but what I do remember is the amazing taste of that rhubarb.

Rhubarb Cardamom Cake 2

Whenever the rhubarb emerged, one of the first things my mum would make was rhubarb jelly. Gently stewed rhubarb encased in sweet, orange jelly, it remains to this day a major comfort food for me.

Rhubarb Cardamom Cake 3

After finding rhubarb on special offer in my local supermarket I was sorely tempted to recreate the jelly of my childhood, maybe fancying it up with a bit of fizz or an exotically flavoured jelly, but, scared of disappointment and sullying my memories, I decided to go another way. (continue reading…)

Cardamom Rice Pudding with Spiced Plums

Rice Pudding 1

The time has most definitely come for comfort food. Large bowls of fabulous, spicy concoctions, to be enjoyed as the rain pours down the windows and the evenings roll in. Ideally there should be a log fire involved, although if I started one in my flat I fear that my service charge would increase exponentially.

Rice pudding 2

Rice pudding has always had a place in my heart, but I’ve never made it, having assumed that it would take hours to cook and being, essentially, lazy. But recently, Joy the Baker and Tracy Shutterbean have shown me that it’s possible to make a completely amazing rice pudding in only half an hour! This was a total revelation to me and this weekend I finally got round to testing out the recipe. Let me tell you, I’m glad I did!

Rice pudding 4

The key is to replace the usual pudding rice with risotto rice, which cooks much faster but still has the requisite starchiness to make the pudding beautifully creamy. Cooking the rice for half an hour retains some of the bite, resulting in texture perfection. (continue reading…)