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Toffee rhubarb sticks

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Sometime last year Dave decided to grow our own veg and that we needed a raised bed for this venture. (I should explain that the otherwise formal garden to the old house where we have a flat, includes a rough patch in a sunny corner which Dave intended to utilise). Mum came over one October weekend and, with some neighbours, we marked out the raised bed area, took off the turf, and then bordered our plot with planks. We unloaded bag after bag of compost, digging it into the existing soil. Around tea-time we were able to stand back, admire our new raised bed and feel pretty chuffed with ourselves.

Green-lawn

 

Dug-bed

A week later, on Mum’s advice I bought a rhubarb root and dug it in at one end of our raised bed. I also bought a logan berry bush because I have happy memories of this fruit but, hey, that’s another story.

In March we harvested the first two stalks from our rhubarb and, yes, we were so pleased with them. They looked too beautiful to chop up and cook in the traditional way, so we kept them as two long stalks, sprinkled on dark brown sugar and baked them instead. The sugar crystalised as the rhubarb cooked and what came out of the oven was terribly simple but so delicious. It let the young rhubarb very much speak for itself.

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We have discovered another rhubarb plant in the garden, which no one seems keen to own, and last week we had rhubarb crumble using very large stalks from this unloved plant. Although tough in places, they stewed up well for the crumble but left us realising the huge difference between new and old rhubarb. The older, thicker ones were so not right for toffee rhubarb sticks.

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Toffee rhubarb sticks take less than ten minutes to prepare and cook. It’s a simple but delicious pudding which you could serve with ice cream, crème faîche, yoghurt, or even custard.

The recipe below is loose. You’ll need two rhubarb stalks and one tablespoon of sugar per person.

Toffee rhubarb sticks

Slim rhubarb stalks, top and tailed
Dark brown sugar
Ice cream, crème faiche, yoghurt or custard to serve

Preparation time – 5 minutes
Cooking time – 8 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/395°F/Gas mark 6.
2. Chop the rhubarb into 10cm lengths and place in a non stick oven tray.
3. Sprinkle over some brown sugar and press some of it into the sticks. Place in the oven for 6 – 8 minutes until the sticks are soft. Serve with ice cream, crème fraîche, yoghurt or custard.

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