This delicious cake from Sue Lawrence, can be adapted depending on the occasion. For a sensible afternoon cake, just fill the middle of the cake with the fool and and the remainder will keep in the fridge for a day or two. For a tempting dessert spread the fool over the top as well as the middle and let it drizzle down the sides.
150ml/5fl oz light beer
175g/6 oz dark muscovado sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of sugar
200g/7 oz self raising flour
2 large free range eggs
100g/3.5 oz golden caster sugar
125ml/4fl oz of oil
For the Rhubarb Fool
1kg/2lb oz young rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into chunks.
2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
115g/4 oz golden caster sugar
450ml/16fl oz whipping cream, lightly whipped
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4, and butter and base line two 20cm/8inch cake tins.Place the beer and 125g/4.5 oz of the muscovado suger in a pan and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat and and stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Leave to cool for about an hour. Sift the flour and ginger into a bowl. Whisk together the eggs, remaining dark muscovado sugar, caster sugar and oil, then slowly add to the flour, stirring. Add the beer mixture and fold together gently. Tip into the prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes until just firm to the touch. Cool in tins for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool, peeling of the paper when cold.To make the rhubarb fool, place the rhubarb in a pan with the elderflower cordial and sugar and bring slowly to the boil, stirring. Cook gently for 8-10 minutes. until just tender. Allow to cool. Put the cream into a bowl, then gradually fold in the cooled rhubarb. To serve, place one cake on a large serving plate and spread the fool generously all over. Place the other cake on top, dust with icing sugar and enjoy for afternoon tea. Or, for a delicious pudding, top with more of the fool so that it slithers down the sides.