24 February 2012

Rhubarb & Custard Sponge Roll (Marks & Spencers) [By @Cinabar]

The jam role is a very traditional pudding, as is rhubarb & custard, but M&S have put the two desserts together and formed this curious concoction. Although rhubarb is a ‘traditional’ fruit it is usually eaten heated with custard, and rarely used to flavour other goodies. Obviously there are ‘rhubarb & custard’ sweets, but it’s not the sort of fruit that is mainstream enough to lend itself to being something like Aero Rhubarb!
This cake is effectively a jam sponge roll, but the difference is that the jam is made with rhubarb and the butter cream is a rich custard flavour! I opened up the box and divided up the roll, thinking that it did indeed look exactly like a regular jam roll. It is a very pretty looking cake to serve to visitors or guests as the swirls of cake looks so smart in the bowl. One I tucked in, the difference between this and a regular jam roll became very clear. This jam had a rich zingy rhubarb flavour that added a tart buzz and a very natural tasting hit of rhubarb. Countering this was the thick butter cream, that was sweet and full of vanilla tones. It certainly had a good custard flavour, and it helped add a much needed sweet creamy taste to the zingy rhubarb, taming it nicely. Together these layers created a perfectly balanced rhubarb and custard flavour that worked as well as the actually dessert. The sponge was soft and fluffy too, and sugar dusted to add even a little more sweetness. I thoroughly enjoyed the cake, as did the others trying it and it went down a treat.
It is so nice to see rhubarb being used in this way. It is a wonderful fruit and often overlooked in favour of more traditional safer tastes. I will certainly be buying this sponge roll again, as it manages to merge a traditional sponge with a new twist of flavour.
By Cinabar

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