GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

My rhubarb has certainly enjoyed the wet weather we have been having and, as I thought that I would rather have the house full of yummy baking smells, instead of damp and sprouting mould, that it would be a good idea to whip up this easy cake – the only type I make.


  • 500 gm washed and chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 175 gm butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
  • half cup almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp each of brown sugar and almond flakes


  • Preheat oven to 160oC
  • Line a 25 cm springform pan with baking paper
  • In a food processor, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy
  • Add eggs, one at a time, until pale and fluffy
  • Add flour, almond meal and bicarbonate of soda – pulse until combined. Don’t overbeat
  • Spoon mixture into prepared tin and scatter chopped fruit over the top.
  • Scatter with spoonful of brown sugar and flaked almonds (they give a nice bit of crunch)
  • Place in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
  • Its ready when firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Put the kettle on!

A word about growing rhubarb in the subtropics.

Rhubarb grows best in cool temperate regions, but I find that I can get a good crop through the winter months as long as I do a couple of things: grow it in a raised bed (in this case – a recycled washtub) with some rotted manure and keep the water up to it.

It will die back to soil level during the summer, but resprout from the crown in the autumn. This is the time to divide it and give it a compost top-up.


Rhubarb and Rose Petal Jam – once eaten, never forgotten!

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