Rhubarb, almond, plum and yogurt cake – a celebration

Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb.

It’s what we used to say to make ‘noise’ on stage. A generic blurbling;  all sound, no fury.

There’s been a bit of blurbling going on over here too. It’s good noise.

I may have dropped a hint at the close of last year about some good things percolating. This is  about one of them (no Mum, don’t get too excited, I’m not pregnant – yet).

But I am baking something.

I think it’s at the point where it’s ok to talk about it in public.

Am pretty chuffed to say I’m working on my first book. It will be published by Ryland Peters Small and should be on shelves early next year.

It’s going to be a lot like this blog; collections of recipes and stories gathered from around the world.  It’s going to be about how you can feel at home when you’re away. It’s going to be about how you can  have a mini break from the comfort of your kitchen.

It’s 95 per cent new material- and all stuff I’m thrilled to share.

The Hungry One has been hard at work taste testing. It’s a job he feels he was born for.

Scanning through the recipe list the other day I noticed an emphasis on chocolate, pork (sometimes even together), chorizo and cherries.

‘That’s not surprising’ he said when I raised it. ‘You know they’re my favourite things’.

As the chief tester he may have had some inadvertent sway over what makes it into the book.

(In fact, he confessed the first iteration of the schnitzels I was working on were great- he only made me re test and tweak them five times so he could have them for  dinner every night for a week). 

But this little corner of the internet remains all mine.

And this is a cake of my choice. It’s a celebration of the flavours I love- the tang of rhubarb and plum, the mild sweetness of yogurt and the lightness my favourite Spanish almond cake.

It’s a creation that’s a little like me, mildly sweet, a touch tart and gussied up with a few too many layers.

Here are some good things about it- there’s no butter or flour in the cake , just almonds, eggs, sugar and a dash of hope to hold it all together (book mark it for your gluten intolerant friends….)

Then there’s the prettiness of the plums bedded into the top and the sticky glee of the rhubarb slurry in the centre. Instead of thigh gilding cream to stick it all together there’s the gentle squelch of yogurt. It’s the perfect thing for a chat among ladies, or a mother’s day dessert.

It’s a cake that was born for a celebration.

Right now I’ve got enough time for a quick cup of tea and a slice.

Then I’ve got to get back to work. I’ve got a book to finish.

Rhubarb almond and plum cake

Bottom cake
1 teaspoon of butter (for greasing the tin)
4 medium eggs, separated
175g (6oz) caster sugar
200g (7oz) ground almonds
Pinch of salt

Second cake (almond with plum upside down topping)
4 plums, cut into slivers
1 teaspoon of butter (for greasing the tin)
4 medium eggs, separated
175g (6oz) caster sugar
200g (7oz) ground almonds
Pinch of salt


1 cup of rhubarb and raspberry compote (place7 stems of rhubarb, cut into matchstick lengths, 1 cup of raspberries, 1/2 cup of caster sugar and 3 tablespoons of orange juice in a  baking tray covered in foil in a150 C oven for an hour and a half. Strain some of the juice. Fork apart the rhubarb and softened berries. Also excellent on granola).

1 cup of thick natural yogurt


2 x 23cm cake tins (or 1 and make the cake twice). Baking paper. 2 bowls. Electric whisk. Blow torch/over head grill. Spatula.

Here’s how we roll

First cake

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Butter the sides of one 23cm 9in diameter, spring-form cake tin.  Line the bottoms and side with baking parchment. If you have two cake tins, prepare both tins and make a double mix at the same time.

2 Put the egg whites into a bowl with the pinch of salt. Use the electric beaters to whisk until you get soft peaks. Rain in half of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Whisk until half of the sugar is absorbed and the mix is stiff and shiny.

4. Whisk the yolks in a separate bowl with the remaining sugar until thick and fluffy.

5. Mix the ground almonds into the egg yolks and sugar mix. Then gently fold in the whites.

6. To make the plain almond cake, pour the batter into the cake mix and bake for 45 minutes until the cake is firm.

7. To make the plum upside down cake, repeat the above steps until just before pouring the batter in. Place the plum slices in a circle on the bottom of the cake tin.

8. Pour the batter over the top. Bake for 45 minutes and then allow to cook for 10 minutes in the tin.

8. Invert the cake so the plums are on the top. Sprinkle with icing sugar and then use a blow torch or 5 minutes under an overhead grill to caramelise the plums.

9. Top the bottom cake with the rhubarb and then with  yogurt.

10.  Then gently sandwich the bottom cake with the plum cake.

11. Share with people you love.

  1. Congratulations! That's very exciting news!

  2. Congrats on the book deal!!!! 🙂

  3. Book! Yay! Well-deserved!

  4. Congratulations on your wonderful news Tori! I can't wait to buy your new book! I'm sure it will be a roaring success! 😀

  5. Squeeee!!! So much congratulations! xx

  6. Congratulations on your book deal! delicious looking cake, I love rhubarb 🙂

  7. Congrats, Tors! Great news! P.S. I am so cooking this cake!

  8. I'm loving the beautiful looking cakes you are posting at the moment.

    I want to bake them all once my marathon imposed diet ends!!

  9. Congratulations on the book Tori, fabulous news xxx

  10. Congratulations Tori, that is amazing news! You certainly deserve it, I love your writing and your recipes. This is a grand cake to celebrate with.

  11. That's amazing news – huge congratulations! The cake looks awesome too by the way…

  12. Oops, didn't mean to be anonymous!

  13. How exciting- I love the concept of your book! The cake looks fantastic, and I can't wait for rhubarb to come into the market.

  14. What a beautiful cake for a well deserved celebration! Congratulations and thanks for sharing! You have a very nice blog and I'm glad to have found you.

  15. OH MY GOD!!!!!!! Tori so excited for you – brilliant news. I hope we will be able to get it in Oz. PS the cake looks truly excellent.

  16. Congrats on your book deal. That is so exciting. Well done! And your cake looks SO perfect.

  17. Fantastic news about the book Tori- can't wait to read it & hopefully see you in London in September. Laura

  18. How wonderfully fantastic. Congratulations Tori. Totally cool. And, umm, *what* a recipe. Love the whole combination.

  19. How wonderfully fantastic. Congratulations Tori. Totally cool. And, umm, *what* a recipe. Love the whole combination.

  20. How wonderfully fantastic. Congratulations Tori. Totally cool. And, umm, *what* a recipe. Love the whole combination.

Leave a comment


{ 20 Trackbacks }