Are you a rhubarb lover or hater? As a child I was a hater, but maturity has brought a love of the pink stuff and with it a desire to make a Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. No ordinary rhubarb upside down cake I hasten to add, but a gluten free one, made with a delicious strawberry and almond sponge incorporating real freeze dried strawberry powder and a very healthy ratio of ground almonds.
I love using ground almonds in gluten free bakes, not only because they add moisture and texture, but because they also add structure, lessening the potential crumbliness and dryness so familiar (and frustrating) to us gluten free folk. They are also amazing in their nutritional value, being a great source of protein, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. Whilst they may be considered a ‘high fat’ ingredient, the great news is that most of the fat is monounsaturated which has cardio-protective properties. Sure, I’m throwing them into cake, but every little helps and if I am going to use valuable calories enjoying a treat, I figure I might as well ensure it has some nutritional value too.
The rhubarb I have used comes from my garden. Having completely water-logged and killed a much coveted rhubarb plant that we grew a few years back, we replaced it with a new one (which we put in a more favourable part of the garden) and are now being repaid with more rhubarb sticks than we can ever hope to eat, challenging us to source, invent and experiment with as many rhubarb recipes as we can. Seriously, if you fall into the ‘love rhubarb’ camp, consider growing your own (if you don’t already). It is the plant that keeps on giving…. all summer…
Rhubarb upside down cake is just perfect for using it, because it consumes plenty of sticks in one hit. Better still, because it is upside down, you get to enjoy looking at the beautiful rhubarb hues and textures. Of course, the more pink the rhubarb, the better the effect, so be sure to arrange it pink side down in the bottom of the cake tin before baking.
This particular rhubarb upside down cake packs an extra-fruity punch from the addition of ground freeze-dried strawberry powder in the sponge. From the moment I discovered freeze-dried fruit, I have been a fan and have loved using it powdered in cakes and biscuits. Somehow the flavours of the fruit are extra intense when it has been through the freeze-drying process and depending on the fruit you are using, it can add the most beautiful natural colour to your cakes and cookies.
If you want to experiment yourself, it is definitely worth buying in larger quantities, either as ready-ground powder or to grind yourself at home. The tiny pots that you can buy in major supermarkets are way over-priced and simply won’t stretch to large-scale baking. I always buy mine on-line from Healthy Supplies who have the most amazing range… from berries and cherries through to banana, blackcurrants and mandarin. If you buy the fruit pre-ground, it makes a fantastically healthy snack too, especially for little ones. Miss GF has always loved it!
If gluten free rhubarb upside down cake doesn’t float your boat, but you are still in need of some seasonal rhubarb inspiration, a number of my good free-from and blogger friends have helped me out by sharing some of their favourite rhubarb recipes. They are all free from gluten and some of them are also free from dairy, eggs, nuts and other things too. I have also included a selection of other rhubarb treats from Gluten Free Alchemist :
Rhubarb Curd – Gluten Free Alchemist
Strawberry, Rhubarb & Pomegranate Jam – Gluten Free Alchemist
Rhubarb-Strawberry Meringue Pie – Gluten Free Alchemist
Champagne Syllabub with Orange-Rhubarb Compote from Choclette at Tin & Thyme
Oven-Baked Rhubarb & Strawberry Risotto (vegan) from Mandy at Sneaky Veg – Looks incredible
Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble Bars (vegan) from Nathalie at Intolerant Gourmand. Who can resist a tempting crumble topped rhubarb treat?
Rhubarb & Custard Layer Cakes – Gluten Free Alchemist
Rhubarb & Ginger Chutney (vegan) from Tin & Thyme
Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble Cake from Rebecca at Glutarama (egg-free and optional vegan). For an alternative crumble treat but with a cake base.
Rhubarb Friands with White Chocolate from Tin & Thyme
Rhubarb No Churn Ice Cream – Gluten Free Alchemist
Rhubarb & White Chocolate Eclairs – Gluten Free Alchemist
To share some rhubarby love, I am linking my gluten free Rhubarb Upside Down Cake with a few link-parties as follows :
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