I am always very keen that my children should have a healthy well- balanced meal in the middle of the day, but after school I think a sweet treat is perfectly appropriate. This is a really old fashioned, traditional French cake recipe and one that children will often learn to cook at home. It’s basically a buttery sponge, which you can prepare as a single cake or it can be used to make individual fairy cakes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4, grease and flour a 22cm, round sandwich tin or use a ‘magical’ silicone one.
Beat all the ingredients together in a mixer on high for 2 minutes or so, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.
Tip the mixture into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until it is beautifully golden and just coming away from the sides of the tin.
Remove from the oven, let it cool slightly then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
For the rhubarb and strawberry compote:
Put the rhubarb in a pan with a tiny splash of water. Cover and heat very gently, leaving it to steam in its own juices for 10-15 minutes or until soft. If you are adding strawberries, do it now. They will poach and in so doing release their juicy dye.
Add the sugar and puree the whole thing if you wish. But do you really want to have more equipment to take out, wash and put away on a Sunday afternoon?
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