What the fudge is a torte, you may ask. I have been asking myself that very question, so I googled away for answers, and it seems that while not all cakes are tortes, all tortes are cakes. In other words, a torte is a type of cake, but according to this here, a very fancy one indeed. Well now. This recipe seems to be the exception to the rule – it’s simple and wholesome, but no less delicious for it.
I’ve read a lot about this torte across the blogosphere, a simple butter cake that can be adapted using most fruits that have a sour note to them. Whilst the original recipe calls for purple plums, I’ve read about variations using raspberries, blueberries, apples..
I decided to go with rhubarb for two reasons: I love rhubarb, and I had some in the freezer. And I will most certainly be making this again. And again. And again. The result is a golden, buttery, tender-crunchy cake with luscious pockets of jammy fruit. And it’s such an unassuming cake, which makes me love it even more. I’m going to try making this with really sour apples, next time, or blackberries, if I can find some!
- 125 g (1 cup) flour
- 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
- large pinch of salt
- 200 g (1 cup) sugar, plus 1-2 tbsp for sprinkling
(1 tbsp if the fruit you’re using is on sweeter side)
- 115 g (½ cup) softened butter
- 2 eggs
- about 230 g rhubarb, cut into large chunks (since I was using frozen fruit, I left it to defrost on sheets of kitchen roll for a few hours, to absorb some of the liquid, before baking)
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- (if using apples or berries, or plums, also add 1 tbsp ground cinnamon when sprinkling the sugar on top – I omitted this because I didn’t feel it would go so well with the rhubarb, but it would be beautiful with apples!)
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a springform pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together your flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar well, preferably with an electric mixer, then whisk in the eggs one at a time (a hand whisk will do just fine here).
Whisk in your dry ingredients until everything is just combined. Scrape into your springform and flatten with a silicone spatula.
Distribute the fruit all over the cake; sprinkle the lemon juice over the cake, followed by the extra tbsp of sugar, and bake for approximately 45 minutes until the cake is nicely brown, and no longer feels ‘squidgy’ when you press down lightly on it with a finger. (After 25 minutes of baking I had to cover it with tin foil to make sure the cake wouldn’t brown too much on top before the middle had had time to set; I left the foil on for 15 minutes, then took it off for the remaining 5 minutes to let the cake finish ‘browning up’ 🙂 ).
Leave to cool on a rack for a few hours (even if I didn’t…), then eat away!
P.s.: this cake is, as reported, just as good, if not better, on the second day! Which is no mean feat, as it’s pretty marvellous on the first.
P.p.s.: I have since made this several times with purple plums as well, and it is UNbelievable. One time my plums were too big (insert inuendo) and sank to the bottom, but it was luscious, and almost even better than when the plums stay ensconced in the buttery batter, if slightly more difficult to eat. This is a magical cake indeed (excuse me, torte).