Sweet sweet Friday: White chocolate and rhubarb cakes

When I open our freezer I feel a little like Captain Lawrence Oates, the Arctic explorer who selflessly walked out into a blizzard on Scott’s South Pole expedition to give his companions a better chance of survival. Oates told them he was “just going outside, I may be some time” – and was never seen again.

I’m not saying sticking my arm into our compact freezer is anything like going to the South Pole, but I often wonder what happens to the things I put in there. Some vanish, never to be seen again, but there are occasional happy endings where I retrieve things I threw in and forgot about. Like a bag of rhubarb from my parents’ garden, already chopped in neat pieces, and a tub of crumble mixture. Or a second bag of rhubarb, weighing exactly the right amount for these tender little cakes.

White chocolate and rhubarb cakes
I am hoping the green-ness of this rhubarb will make these a contender for the March edition of We Should Cocoa, in which the theme is ‘green’. I’ve simplified the recipe, which came from a 2010 issue of Sainsbury’s magazine, but I can’t tell you who wrote it because that vital piece of info is missing, along with the contents page. Whoever it belongs to calls them muffins, but because they are made in a completely counter-intuitive way to normal muffins, I think they’re better described as cakes. The batter is very light and tender, and I think it would be lovely with apricots instead of rhubarb. But that would make them even less green, wouldn’t it?

For the rhubarb:
200g rhubarb, chopped into 1cm pieces
2Tbsp sugar
125ml water
Put the rhubarb, water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to the boil, let cook for one minute, then remove from heat. Drain the rhubarb and let cool.

100g soft butter
225g caster sugar
225g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
125ml hot milk
2 eggs at room temperature
100g white chocolate, roughly chopped
the prepared rhubarb

Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir briefly, then add the hot milk. Stir again, then add the eggs, one at a time and mix to a soft batter. Fold in the rhubarb and chocolate. Divide between the muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes until springy and golden.
Let cool for five minutes then gently turn out to a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Have a great weekend everyone. After meeting a few jammy types this week I’m really looking forward to Sunday!



  1. March 22, 2012 / 6:38 pm

    Oooh oooh SNAP!!! I have also recently discovered a bag of pre-chopped homegrown rhubarb in my freezer! Right next to the bag of homegrown blackberries! Was so impressed with myself 🙂
    The combo of rhubarb and white choc sounds delish. Might try this with my own uber simple muffin recipe which doesn't need beating and all that phaffing around.. I am soooo lazy like that…
    Good luck with your jam this weekend!! x

  2. March 22, 2012 / 6:45 pm

    They sound great – rhubarb can really take the sweetness of white chocolate so a fab combo. I keep unearthing gooseberries and redcurrants in my freezer, and then promptly burying them in there again.

  3. March 22, 2012 / 10:20 pm

    Oh I am excited about these. I love rhubarb. I freeze mine in little chunks too. Like the addition of white chocolate and the texture looks wonderful.

  4. March 23, 2012 / 9:46 am

    I'm always on the look out for rhubarb recipes! My rhubarb plant is my favorite in our vege garden. Mainly because it is the only one that I don't need to replant, as it's one of only a handful of veges that is perennial. I'm excited to find out that u can freeze rhubarb!

  5. March 23, 2012 / 3:46 pm

    I thought rhubarb was pink? either way I love the sound of this! they look adorable!

  6. March 23, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    Rhubarb and white chocolate is one of my all time fave flavour combos – in fact, some would go so far as I just can;t get enough. You are also the only person to have used rhubarb for the green element of this month's challenge so well done for the genius thinking on that one ;0)

  7. March 23, 2012 / 9:43 pm

    I'm definitely trying these after the Victoria St Sunday market tomorrow!

  8. March 23, 2012 / 10:14 pm

    oh my goodness these are so beautiful… I adore rhubarb, so these are just perfection for me… genius entry for wsc too!

  9. March 25, 2012 / 5:03 pm

    These are, indeed, lovely cakes … more than muffins… and finding hidden surprises in the deep freeze is such a bit of serendipity, yes? I actually love the idea of the apricots even over the rhubarb with this white chocolate thing that you're doing! Mmmm, good!

  10. March 25, 2012 / 6:06 pm

    i'm glad it's not just me who has freezer expeditions and surprises! Love the sound of the rhubarb and white chocolate combo.

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