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Rhubarb Cinnamon Torte / Cake / Whatever

If you were to leaf through the contents of my cookbook stand, chances are you would find this recipe for rhubarb cinnamon torte on a little piece of card, handwritten by my mother. Mum got the recipe from Big Sis #1 and I have no idea where she got it from. Resident Sis, meanwhile, is in the habit of making it whenever there is rhubarb about and it’s always a good day when she does.

Now, as to the name, a torte [1] is not actually a high-falutin’ name for a tart but, rather, a cake of central European origin involving many eggs and usually ground nuts. So I guess that this is indeed a sort of a torte. Or a cake. Or just something nice to have with a cup of tea. Whatever.

A note on the mixing method: The original instructions simply say to mix all of the ingredients (except the rhubarb) together, ’til it forms a ball. They don’t elaborate on any particular method of mixing. Sis says she has used the creaming method, creaming the butter and sugar, then adding the wet and dry ingredients, though last time she says that she just melted the butter, added wet ingredients to dry and the results were entirely lovely. That’s the method I’ve tried myself and included here.

Rhubarb cinnamon torte

You’ll need:
  • 170g butter
  • 170g ground almonds
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 390g rhubarb, cut into small chunks
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
You’ll also need:
  • 20cm round, loose-bottomed tin – mine is about 3cm deep. The tin should be greased and the base lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
The Steps:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Melt the butter over a gentle heat
  • In a small bowl, beat together the egg and egg yolk.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ground almonds and sugar. Add a pinch of salt if the butter you’re using is unsalted.
  • Pour in the melted butter and mix to combine, then pour in the beaten egg and mix together to form a ball.
  • Using half of this mixture, cover the base of the tin and spread the mixture just slightly up the sides. Press down with a spoon, making a smooth layer, with no gaps.
  • Now pile the rhubarb on top, just away from the edge of the tin (and, yes, it will look like there is rather a lot of rhubarb).
  • Spread the rest of the cake mixture on top of the rhubarb – don’t worry if there are some lumps poking through the top.
  • Bake for around 1 hour, until well browned. Cool for at least 10 minutes in the tin, then carefully slide onto a plate and (if you like) dust with icing sugar
  • This is a very moist cake, lovely sliced and served with some yoghurt or a big blob of crème fraîche.
The Variations:
  • The cake is very moist and rhubarby – if you prefer a little more cake and a little less rhubarb, you can go ahead and reduce the amount of rhubarb used by about a third or so.
  • I rather fancy trying this with ground hazelnuts in place of the ground almonds.
The Results:
  • Technically, this constitutes dessert for about 8 people. That assumes that you’re happy to share it with 7 other people though.