Mothers' Day Dessert

Because it's Mothers' Day today, I thought I would try and make something really nice for dessert for mum. This morning we gave her some lotto tickets and a couple of magazines and this GHD heatproof case which was really cool. At the moment her and dad are at The Food Show and she's doing a masterclass (from Master Chef New Zealand) in preparing a High Tea, which is pretty cool. So because mum likes rhubarb, and this dessert is for her not me, I found this recipe which comes from Dish (Issue 31) a New Zealand food magazine:

Little Rhubarb Crumble Cakes with Vanilla Custard

50g plain flour
40g butter
1 1/2T brown sugar

150g rhubarb
1T brown sugar
175g butter, softened
175g brown sugar
1/4t vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten
175g plain flour, sifted
1t baking powder
3T milk

Custard (optional):
3 egg yolks
2T caster sugar
1 cup of cream
1/2t vanilla bean paste (really expensive-if you can't find it, just use vanilla essence)

Preheat the oven to 190° C. Line a 12 muffin tin with stiff paper cases (not cupcake cases, but ones with no indents).

Put the flour in a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar.

Rinse and dry the rhubarb and then cut into approximately 1cm pieces. Sprinkle over the tablespoon of brown sugar and toss gently to coat.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Sift the flour and the baking powder into the butter mixture then gently fold in together with the milk. The mixture should be soft enough to just drop off the spoon.

Divide evenly between the cases (it should fill them about two thirds). Pile 2-3 pieces of rhubarb on top and then sprinkle over the crumble. Bake 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl that will fit snugly over a saucepan. Using an electric beater, beat until thick, pale and creamy and the beater leaves a trail when dragged through. Place the bowl over gently simmering water and slowly stir in the cream. Stir almost continuously until it thickens and leaves a coating on the back of the spoon. (This bit actually took me ages, we have a gas stove so at first I couldn't simmer the water, it was just staying hot but then I moved it to a bigger heat and it worked way better! It should still be runny of course, but not watery.) The custard will gradually lose the foamy appearance on the top as it heats and thickens. Stir in the vanilla (and the ginger syrup). Serve custard warm or leave to cool with the surface covered directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.

Serve the cakes warm as a pudding (Mothers' Day treat!) or leave to cool and serve as a little cake. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did!

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