I have converted many friends to this unfailing recipe for a great desert which would work brilliantly with blackberries, in season now - Sarah Kemp of Decanter swears by it. Mme. Cotat, who gave it to me, lives in Chavignol, neighbouring village to Sancerre, famous for goat's cheese and its white wines. She will never know how much pleasure her recipe has given. The pickers at this tiny estate eat very well!
(For more about Mme. Cotat's cooking, go to the introduction to the Loire in Recipes From the French Wine Harvest, from Lulu.com or Amazon)
FOR 6 PEOPLE
110gr plain flour
60 gr caster sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil (a light olive or
sunflower oil is suitable)
1 teaspoon baking powder
750g - 1 kg (1½ - 2 lb) rhubarb, trimmed and
cut into short equal lengths
FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE:
125 g (4 oz) sugar
90 g (3 oz) butter
Preheat the oven to gas mark 8, 450°F, 230°C.
Mix all the ingredients, except the fruit, together in a bowl to make quite a soft, almost runny, dough.
Butter a 23 cm (9 in) round sponge tin. Sprinkle with flour. Spread the mixture into it. Place the rhubarb pieces on top of the mixture.
It is a little difficult to be accurate about the amount of rhubarb which can give off a lot of liquid – but bear in mind it is a very soft cake. The sharpness of the rhubarb will be offset by the caramel.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until golden. (It will rise a little.)
Meanwhile, prepare the caramel sauce. Melt the sugar and butter together in a small pan. Remove from the heat, cool a little, then stir in the egg. When you take the cake out of the oven, pour this sauce over it. Put it under a hot grill for two minutes or until the sauce has caramelised. Watch it carefully, as it burns easily. Leave the cake to cool. It may be eaten warm or cold.
Apples or pears also work well in this recipe.