- 8 stalks of fresh rhubarb
- 4 cm piece of young ginger peeled and sliced finely
- 80 g caster sugar
- Icing sugar to dust
- 1 sachet of saffron or
10 drops saffron extract
- 250 ml pure cream
- 100 g caster sugar
- 60 g almond meal
- 10 g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
You have learnt some of the history of saffron, you’ve experimented with three very different ways of using saffron, as the star, as a background note and as a quick and easy flavour enhancer. It will soon be time to make your own way into the world of saffron, to refine your practice, to share your knowledge and teach others, but before we get there I have one more piece of history for you.
The Persians took saffron soaked milk baths in a belief that it was good for the complexion and helped heal battle wounds. This traditional was picked up by Alexander the Great and transport by him back to Greece via Egypt. On the way the medicinal powers of saffron were lost to time and translation and instead Cleopatra insisted on having saffron soaked milk baths prior to love making, believing it to have aphrodisiac powers. Now I won’t guarantee this next step will improve your love making, but the groans of pleasure coming from around the dinner table do certainly imply a high level of satisfaction…
This desert comes from France, where traditionally it should be made with cherries, however the variations are limited only by your imagination. Here we soak the ground saffron in the cream for a least a day, this allows the saffron to completely dissolve and the cream to take in all the flavour and colour.
Perfect with young saffron that is full of honey and fresh green hay notes.
This step needs to be done ahead of time, at least 24 hrs. Grind the saffron in a mortar and pestle with a small pinch of sugar until it is a fine powder, stir it into the cream, rinse the mortar with some milk. Leave the cream to sit in the fridge for at least 24hrs, stir occasionally.
Pre heat the oven to 180C for fan forced.
Roughly chop the rhubarb into finger length pieces. Place the rhubarb, ginger and caster sugar in an oval ceramic dish, approximately 30cm long and toss. Set aside for 20 minutes to let the flavours meld.
Bake the rhubarb for 10 minutes and then set aside for 10 mins while you make the batter.
Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment or in a food processor and give them a quick mix. Add all the wet ingredients and mix well. Pour oven the rhubarb and stir gently to lift the rhubarb off the bottom and distribute evenly through the batter.
Place in the middle shelf of the oven and cook for approximately 40 minutes, it should be puffed up and golden and a skewer should come out clean.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.
During spring cherries can be used in place of rhubarb and ginger. Pip them first and put them straight into the oven with the batter, they don’t need pre-cooking.